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.
- 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
If you live in an area that flooded, pollutants from floodwaters might contaminate your private well. 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
A flood or loss of power could jeopardize the safety of your food. Learn how to determine if your food is still safe.
- 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
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