Darci Lee

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Bunnell, Florida — Skin contact with floodwaters can pose a serious health risk when the waters are contaminated with bacteria and viruses.

The Florida Department of Health in Flagler County (DOH-Flagler) recommends the following precautions to prevent possible illnesses from floodwaters:

  • Basic hygiene is essential. Wash your hands with soap and disinfected or boiled and cooled water, especially before preparing or eating food, after using the toilet, after handling a soiled diaper, after participating in cleaning after a flood and after handling objects contaminated by flood water or
  • Use commercial bottled water to mix baby
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything that has been contaminated by a flood

To be on the safe side, you can disinfect tap water by following the procedures below. Do not rely on unverified methods to decontaminate water. If the water is cloudy, let it sit and strain it through a clean cloth, paper towel, or coffee filter. This will facilitate the disinfection process. If you have extra water, put it in containers that have been properly sanitized (see information below on sanitizing water).

The preferred method for disinfecting water is to Boil water.

  • Boil water for at least one minute to kill harmful bacteria and
  • To improve the flat taste of boiled water, add a pinch of salt (depending on health conditions) to each quart or quart of water, or pour water from a clean container into another clean container.

If boiling is not possible, use Household bleach.

  • Add eight drops of unscented household bleach (four to six percent strength), or about 1/8 teaspoon or a dime-sized puddle, per gallon of
    • Do not use color-safe bleach or bleaches with
  • If a stronger bleach is used (up to 8.25 percent), add only six drops of bleach.
  • Mix the solution and let stand for 30
  • If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure once
  • If the chlorine taste is too strong, pour the water from a clean container into another and let it sit for a few hours beforehand.

It is also possible to use other disinfection methods.

Note: Follow the instructions on the product label as each product may have a different strength.

  • Five drops of iodine (two percent tincture) may be added to each pint or quart of water to be

To note: Speak CDCwater that has been disinfected with iodine is NOT recommended for pregnant women, people with thyroid problems, people with known hypersensitivity to iodine, or for continuous use for more than a few weeks at that time.

  • If the water is cloudy or colored add 10 drops of
  • Stir and let the water sit for at least 30 minutes before
  • Water disinfection tablets (available at department stores or sporting goods stores) that contain chlorine, iodine, chlorine dioxide or other disinfecting agents may also be used.

Water containers should be rinsed with a bleach solution of one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water before reuse.

Do not wade in standing water. If you do, wash your body and put on clean clothes.

Avoid contact with flood waters, especially if you have open cuts or wounds.

  • If you have open cuts or sores and come in contact with floodwater, wash the area well with soap to prevent infection. If a wound develops redness, swelling, or discharge, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Residents who experience lacerations and/or puncture wounds are encouraged to contact their primary health care provider to ensure they are up to date on their tetanus shot and possibly obtain a
  • If sewage is backing up in your home, wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves while cleaning.
    • Absorbent household materials, such as fabric wall coverings, carpets and drywall, should be removed and discarded as they cannot be properly
    • Hard surface walls and floors, food contact surfaces, such as counters, refrigerators and tables, and areas where children play should be cleaned with soap and water, followed by a disinfectant solution of 1/4 cup bleach to one gallon of water.
    • All linens and clothing should be cleaned with hot water or dry cleaned, while carpets should be steam cleaned otherwise
    • For larger items, air dry them in the sun, then spray them with disinfectant.

If your home is serviced by a septic tank and your plumbing is running slowly or sluggishly, you should:

  • Conserve water as much as possible. If you use less water, you will increase the chances of not having septic problems. This would include reducing the use of your washing machine by going to a laundromat. Also consider using a portable toilet.
  • Not empty the septic tank. Unusually high water tables can crush a septic tank that’s been pumped dry, or it can pop out of the ground. If the main problem is high water table, pumping the reservoir will not solve this problem.
  • If you cannot use your plumbing without creating a health nuisance, such as above-ground sewage, consider renting a portable toilet for a temporary period or moving to a new location until conditions improve. improve.
  • Not have the septic tank and septic field repaired until the groundwater has receded below the bottom of the septic field. Often the systems will work properly again when dry conditions return. All repairs must be authorized and inspected by DOH-Flagler.

About the Florida Department of Health

FloridaHealth is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Council and works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all Florida residents through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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