Water Safety

During a flood, water for household use may become contaminated with bacteria, viruses and other organisms that can spread diseases and make you and your family very sick.

This applies to treated and untreated water sources (streams, springs, wells).

  • Take precautions to ensure that water is safe to consume.
  • Boil all drinking water that may have come into contact with flood waters.
  • Bring the water to a complete rolling boil and then leave it to boil for an extra 5 minutes.

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  • Purify water by treating it with regular household bleach (5-6% bleach- no added scents/dyes)

If the water is untreated allow it to settle to remove sediment

Add bleach according to the volume of water being treated

8 drops of bleach to one gallon of water

Mix the bleach into the water well

Cover and let stand for 30 minutes before using

Remember to clean and sanitize containers before using them to store safe water:

  • Make a sanitizing solution by adding 1 teaspoon of household liquid bleach to 1 litre of water.
  • Pour the solution into a clean water storage container. Shake well, making sure that the solution coats the entire inside of the container
  • Leave it for 1 minute, then pour out the solution and let it dry before using to store clean water.

Food Safety

Flood waters may carry silt, raw sewage and other bacteria that can contaminate food and make it unsafe.

Be sure to:

  • Inspect food carefully to determine if it may have come into contact with flood water.
  • Discard open containers, packages and foods contained in bags, paper, cloth, fiber or cardboard boxes (e.g. flour, cereal, rice) even if the packages were sealed.
  • Throw away fresh fruits, vegetables fish and meat that may have come into contact with flood waters
  • Canned food items should be safe for consumption but persons are advised to remove labels and disinfect cans thoroughly with a bleach solution before opening.