Flood water is dangerous, disgusting and dirty. Itis a hazard to your health, safety, and It could be deadly. We continue to see the images from the devastation flooding across the South, but you have also probably seen images of people using flood water for recreational fun and as a virtual playground. This is a bad idea! Flood waters could be extremely dangerous. Here are the top reasons why you should avoid contact with flood water.
1. Raw Sewage
Raw sewage is germ infested containing disease-causing micro-organisms like E Coli, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Hepatitis A, Cholera and more. Open cuts and wounds can become severely infected by contaminated water. Raw sewage can contain urine & feces (poop), Feminine sanitary products like tampons, toilet paper, and whatever has been flushed down the toilet or down the drain is raw sewage!
Flooding can create little ponds which become natural breeding grounds for mosquitoes, which can carry the West Nile virus.
3. Hazardous Waste
Flood water can contain hundreds of different chemicals that are harmful for the body. Examples are: Vehicle fluids like oil, gas, and anti-freeze. Dead & decaying animals, decaying & rotting vegetation, runoff from industrial and manufacturing facilities which can contain toxic chemicals & runoff from farms and pastures that can contain pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and animal waste.
4. Sharp and dangerous Objects
Flood water picks up everything in its path and is generally murky and muddy. Sharp and dangerous objects pose potential risks as they are hidden from sight and can puncture the skin. These objects could cause tetanus, E. Coli, and staphylococcus (staph infections) and/or could cause you to fall and get tangled or severely injured. Examples of these dangerous objects are Broken glass, barbed wire, tree branches, and metal fragments.
5. Hidden Rocks, Ditches and Potholes
Hidden rocks, ditches and potholes may cause children (and adults) to lose their footing and strain a muscle or turn an ankle or worse they could be knocked unconscious and drown.
6. Storm Drains, Storm Pipes and Manholes
During a flood, as water recedes, storm drains, storm pipes and manholes become powerful suction devices that can sweep away a child or adult in an instant. They can be hidden just below the surface of shallow water. Children can be sucked into the mouths of hidden drainage pipes and drown; being carried long distances underwater, with their body washing up in a lake or river miles away and days or even weeks later.
7. Sink Holes
Sink holes can occur suddenly and with great violence during a flood. They can break water mains and pipes, cable & electrical conduits, gas pipes, and cause neighboring structures to become unstable.
8. Municipal and Private Well Water Contamination
Water may not be safe to drink, cook or clean with after a flood. During and after flooding, water can become contaminated with microorganisms such as bacteria, sewage, heating oil, agricultural or industrial waste, chemicals and other substances that can cause serious illness. Always assume that your water is contaminated until the authorities tell you otherwise. If you have a private well you should have your water tested before resuming with consumption.