River levels throughout the interior have been high due to snowmelt and rainfall. The River Forecast Centre has predicted a high risk of flooding in this summer in many areas. (Black Press file photo)

How to safely drink water in areas impacted by flooding

Quality and safety of drinking water can be affected during and after floods

River levels remain high and flood alerts have been issued in many areas throughout the Interior, prompting Interior Health to issue a list of precautions regarding drinking water, as it can be affected during and after flooding events.

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

READ MORE: Evacuation order and alerts issued for properties in Cawston area

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

“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,” reads a statement issued by Interior Health.

Interior Health encourages individuals living in areas affected by floods to follow these precautions:

  • Do not drink or use any water that has been contaminated with floodwaters. 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 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 floodwaters or handling items that have come into contact with floodwaters.

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

READ MORE: High water levels on Shuswap Lake may close popular Canoe Beach

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