Flood waters can carry many contaminants that can harm your health, such as sewage, fertilizer, manure, gas, and pesticides. It is important to stay out of flood waters if possible and clean up properly.
Staying Safe During Flooding, Public Health Madison & Dane County
Resources for 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.
- Mold Clean Up Toolkit, WI Department of Health Services
- Mold and Flooding: Cleanup Tips and Guidance, Public Health Madison & Dane County
- Re-entering Your Home After a Flood, WI Department of Health Services
- Wisconsin Flood Toolkit, WI Department of Health Services
- Department of Waste and Renewables, Dane County
Private Well and Drinking Water Resources
If you live in an area that flooded, your private well might be contaminated by pollutants from the floodwaters. If you think your drinking water is contaminated:
- Stop drinking it or using it for preparing food immediately.
- 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.
- Disinfect your well, or get your water tested to check for contamination.
- 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.
- If your water tests negative for bacteria, consider the water safe to drink but re-test in another month.
- Learn more about how to protect your well from contamination in the future.
- Recommendations for Private Wells Inundated by Flooding, WI Department of Natural Resources
- Water Testing Information, Public Health Madison & Dane County
- Fixing Your Flooded Well Fact Sheet, WI Department of Health Services
Food Safety Resources
A flood or loss of power due to storms could jeopardize the safety of your food.
- Food and Water Safety During Power Outages and Floods, U.S. Food & Drug Administration
- Food Safety After a Flood, Factsheet. U.S. Food & Drug Administration
Going through a natural disaster can lead to stress and depression. The Disaster Distress Helpline is a toll-free, confidential crisis support service.
- Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TALKWITHUS to 66746.