Emergency officials: Floodwater still hazardous, possibly contaminated

September 13, 2013

Despite a break in the weather, emergency officials are reminding people that flooded areas remain hazardous and that tubing and kayaking are not legal during a declared emergency.

Boulder County Public Health is urging people to stay out of all floodwaters, even in areas where the water appears to be calm. The water may be contaminated with bacteria and sewage and hidden debris under the surface could be dangerous.

Boulder emergency officials note that the cloudiness of the floodwater is an indicator of poor water quality and that the water may contain an increased level of pathogens, including E. coli and Giardia. People should avoid drinking any untreated or unfiltered water from streams, creeks and other bodies of water.

Boulder County Public Health is also recommending that any food that has come into contact with floodwaters be thrown out.

For more information about water and food safety after a flood and about cleaning up after a flood, visit http://www.bouldercounty.org/dept/publichealth/pages/floodhealth.aspx.