999 Balmoral Street
Thunder Bay, ON
Phone: (807) 625-5900
Toll-Free: (888) 294-6630
Affected by Flooding?
The safety of well water, the contamination of food and future problems with bacteria growth and mold resulting from the sewage backup are concerns that might affect you.
- Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water.
- Discard any food without a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water.
- Undamaged, commercially canned foods can be saved if you remove the can labels, thoroughly wash the cans, and then disinfect them with a solution consisting of one cup of bleach in 5 gallons of water. Relabel your cans, including expiration date, with a marker.
- Food containers with screw-caps, snap-lids, crimped caps (soda pop bottles), twist caps, flip tops, and home canned foods should be discarded if they have come into contact with flood water because they cannot be disinfected.
Observe these precautions when cleaning up
- Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed.
- Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected area.
- Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as, mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings, and most paper products).
- Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters.
- Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent, then disinfect with a solution of 1 cup of household bleach to 5 gallons of water. (Note: this solution should not be used for drinking, cooking, or personal hygiene.)
- Help the drying process by using fans, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers.
- After completing the cleanup, wash your hands with soap and water. Use water that has been boiled for 1 minute (allow the water to cool before washing your hands).
- Or you may use water that has been disinfected for personal hygiene use (solution of one eighth of a teaspoon of household bleach per 1 gallon of water). Let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy, use a solution of ¼ teaspoon of household bleach per 1 gallon of water.
- Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent. These clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.
- Wash clothes contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent. It is recommended that a laundromat be used for washing large quantities of clothes and linens until your onsite waste-water system has been professionally inspected and serviced.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you become injured or ill.
Septic Field Care After A Flood:
Once it has been determined that flood waters are receding and your leaching bed is no longer under water, the following recommendations should be employed:
- pump out septic tank
- minimize water use thus minimizing additional water from entering the already saturated leaching bed
- disperse any pockets of standing water down slope of the leaching bed
- minimize walking on or near the leaching bed until saturation subsides
Information from Canada Mortgage and Housing:
- Before the Flood
- After the Flood
- First Steps in Clean-up
- Water-Damaged Heirlooms and Antiques
- What to Keep or Discard
- Before Moving Back in
- Other Self-Help Advice
Contact your local branch of the Thunder Bay District Health Unit if you have questions.
Last Updated: 6/17/2008