flooded street

Floodwaters may contain things like sewage, fertilizer, manure, gas, and pesticides. These can harm your health. It is important to stay out of floodwaters and clean up carefully after floodwaters have receded.


Staying Safe During Flooding, Public Health Madison & Dane County

Flood Clean Up

Flooded homes and businesses can lead to the growth of mold, which can cause health concerns. It is important to stay safe and healthy while cleaning up after a flood.

Private Well and Drinking Water

If you live in an area that flooded, pollutants from floodwaters might contaminate your private well. If you think your drinking water is contaminated:

  1. Stop drinking it or using it for preparing food immediately.
  2. Switch to a safe water source such as a neighbor’s well you know is safe, a community water supply, or buy bottled water. If you can’t find a convenient source of safe water, boil your well water for one minute at a rolling boil before using it.
  3. Disinfect your well, or get your water tested to check for contamination.
    1. If your water tests positive for bacteria, your water is unsafe. Read Bacterial Contamination of Private Wells for more information. Do not use the water unless boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute.
    2. If your water tests negative for bacteria, consider the water safe to drink but re-test in another month.
  4. Learn more about how to protect your well from contamination in the future.

Food Safety

A flood or loss of power could jeopardize the safety of your food. Learn how to determine if your food is still safe.

Disaster Helpline

Natural disasters can cause stress and depression. Call or text The Disaster Distress Helpline for free confidential support.

  • Call 1-800-985-5990
  • Text TALKWITHUS to 66746

Resources & Ways to Stay Informed About Flooding