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Proper Sewage Clean Up Processes

September 10, 2017

Heavy rainfall from Hurricane Irma may result in flood waters that are contaminated with sewage. Proper cleaning and disinfecting processes are recommended to prevent illness.

How to clean up sewage contaminated items and sewage spills inside your home:

  • Wear protective clothing such as rubber boots and waterproof gloves.
  • Clean walls, hard-surfaced floors, and other household surfaces with soap and water and disinfect with a solution of 1/4 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Once cleanup is complete, dry out affected items to prevent the growth of mold.
  • Do not mix ammonia cleansers with bleach as toxic fumes will form.
  • Wash all linens and clothing in hot water or have them dry cleaned.
  • Discard items that cannot be washed or dry cleaned, such as mattresses, carpeting, wall coverings and upholstered furniture.

For spills outside your home:

  • Contact your public utility or a registered septic tank contractor for clean-up.
  • Minor spills requiring instant attention may be disinfected with regular garden lime from a garden shop. Follow the lime container’s label instructions for personal protective equipment needed.
  • Use lime outdoors only.
  • Sprinkle the lime onto the spill so it is dusted mostly white on the surface. After a day, rake up the thicker deposit and place it in a trash bag for disposal. Use a sprinkler or hose to water the remainder into the soil.
  • Let the area dry in the sun a day before allowing access. If there is still white lime dust visible on the yard, water it until the white dust is gone.

Follow proper hygiene processes to prevent illness:

  • Keep hands and fingers away from the nose, mouth, eyes and ears.
  • Wash hands with soap and water immediately after cleanup efforts, as well as before eating or drinking.
  • Keep fingernails short and clean. Use a stiff brush to remove dirt and foreign materials.
  • Do not store clean work clothes with used work clothes.
  • Shower as soon as possible after cleaning up sewage or sewage contaminated flood waters.