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Interior Health suggests drinking water precautions during, after flooding

Part of being prepared includes being aware of water safety following local flooding.

In areas throughout the Interior region, river levels have been high due to snowmelt and rainfall. 

The River Forecast Centre continues to monitor conditions. Part of being prepared includes being aware of water safety following local flooding.

Interior Health encourages the public to consider how drinking water can be affected during and after floods.

"If you are unsure of the safety of your water following a flood, use an alternate source of water," Interior Health media release said.

"Individuals with compromised immune systems and chronic illnesses, infants, or the elderly are at higher risk when the drinking water is affected. Floods may significantly increase risk to your health by introducing raw sewage, chemical contaminants, and debris into water sources."

Interior Health said it is important to remember the following when your drinking water is affected by floods:

  • Do not drink or use any water that has been contaminated with flood waters. Do not swallow water while you are showering or bathing. Your drinking water sources may need to be treated and tested before consumption can resume.
  • For cleaning of your dishes, rinse them for a minute in diluted bleach (one tablespoon of household bleach per gallon of tap water). If you are using a dishwasher, use the hot wash and dry cycle.
  • Many disease causing microbial agents, such as E. coli may be present in water impacted by flooding. Wash your hands with soap after contact with flood waters or handling items that have come into contact with flood waters. 

For more flood information, please visit the Interior Health website or contact your nearest Environmental Public Health office.