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Posted: June 1, 2020

IH’s drinking water precautions during and after flooding

In areas throughout the Interior Health (IH) region, river levels have been high due to snowmelt and rainfall. The River Forecast Centre continues to monitor conditions. Part of being prepared includes being aware of water safety following local flooding.

Drinking water can be affected during and after floods. If you are unsure of the safety of your water following a flood, use an alternate source of water. Individuals with compromised immune systems and chronic illnesses, infants, or the elderly are at higher risk when the drinking water is affected. Floods may significantly increase risk to your health by introducing raw sewage, chemical contaminants, and debris into water sources.

It is important to remember the following when your drinking water is affected by floods:

Do not drink or use any water that has been contaminated with flood waters. Do not swallow water while you are showering or bathing. Personal drinking water sources may need to be treated and tested before consumption can resume.

For cleaning of your dishes, rinse them for a minute in diluted bleach (one tablespoon of household bleach per gallon of tap water). If you are using a dishwasher, use the hot wash and dry cycle.

Many disease causing microbial agents, such as E. coli may be present in water impacted by flooding. Wash your hands with soap after contact with flood waters or handling items that have come into contact with flood waters.

e-KNOW file photo

Interior Health

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