Flood Waters Should be Considered Contaminated Unless Proven Otherwise

Fox13 asked UPHE to weigh in on the fact that people who jumped in quickly to help others with clean-up of the flooding in Cedar City were starting to get sick. And with more flooding likely in some places in the next several days, we’ll pass on this advice: 

  1. Flood waters should be considered contaminated unless proven otherwise. Contaminants include exactly what you would expect from disruption of sewage and water purification systems–bacteria and viruses like E coli, salmonella, shigella, hepatitis, and even COVID. 
  2. Flood waters often contain a variety of toxic chemicals, pesticides, hydrocarbons of all types, oil based products, solvents, etc. 
  3. Protect yourself from exposure to structures and surfaces that have been under water because the mud and residue left will be contaminated as well.  

We encourage everyone to be good Samaritans, but also take as many precautions as possible to protect yourself from exposure to flood waters and during the clean up.

Flash flooding in Enoch, Utah. Photo by Jennifer Ova

UPHE in the News:
Fox 13 News Interview with Dr. Brian Moench