Oil City’s engineering department is warning residents to assume that “raw sewage could be present” in any floodwaters that may enter the buildings in which we live and work.
Other contaminants may include oil, gasoline and other discarded or spilled fluids.
It is possible in many cases that a drainage system that allows water and sewage to leave your home or workplace may be tied into your municipal storm water sewage system, and the backup of floodwaters into a basement or home could result in the presence of contaminants.
Oil City engineer Christina Sporer cautions that there be no eating, drinking or smoking in an area of flooding, that you do not touch your mouth, eyes, nose or ears during exposure to floodwaters, and that you wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots during cleanup.
If any wound comes into contact with floodwaters, it should immediately be washed and disinfected. And, Sporer recommends that you thoroughly clean your clothing, in addition to yourself, following your flood cleanup efforts.
Sporer references as websites with more information ready.gov/floods and redcross.org.