Contaminated flood water can cause serious threats to your health.
Here's what you should do to minimize your risk:
Pump out flooded basements gradually (about one-third of the water per day) to avoid structural damage. If the water is pumped completely in a short period of time, pressure from water-saturated soil on the outside could cause basement walls to collapse.
Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are health hazards.
Dry out the building. Contaminants in flood waters can penetrate deep into porous materials and later get into the air or water. Completely drying out a building will take time, and you may have to remove ceilings, wallboard, insulation, flooring and other materials if they were soaked. Discard wet materials that can't be thoroughly cleaned and dried.
Microorganisms will continue growing as long as things are wet. When fumes aren't a problem and if electricity is available and safe, you can remove moisture by closing windows and running a dehumidifier or window air conditioner.
Limit your contact with flood water. Don't even breathe mists from contaminated water. When cleaning, wear gloves, goggles, and a respirator or a dust mask.
For more flood-related information, call 271-3710.
From the NH Department of Environmental Services.