The following is a press release issued by Mendocino County Public Health:
Mendocino County has received a significant amount of rain in a relatively short
period of time, causing localized flooding in low-lying areas along the Russian and Navarro
rivers. Flood waters may contain human fecal material, livestock manure, and other hazardous materials and should be approached with caution.
The floods will leave a mess behind them, and people will want to clean up their property and repair their homes as soon as possible so they can move forward with their lives. Some simple precautions can help protect their health and safety as they do so. Here are some tips to stay safe as the flood waters recede:
- Water that is contaminated may cause gastrointestinal illnesses when ingested, with
symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea or nausea. Avoid any contact with flood water
due to the potential for high bacteria levels, particularly if you have any open cuts or
sores. If exposed, you should wash thoroughly with soap to remove any potential
contaminants and apply antibiotic ointment to any wounds to discourage infection.
- If you suspect your drinking water has been impacted, your best options are using
bottled water or bringing your water to a rolling boil for one minute. Do not use
contaminated water to wash dishes, prepare food, make ice, brush teeth, or make baby
- If flood water reached your well or covered the top of your well casing, assume your
well may be contaminated. You can sample your well water for Total Coliform and E.
coli through Alpha Analytical Labs in Ukiah if you believe your well may be impacted,
and you can contact Mendocino County Environmental Health at (707) 234-6625 for
information regarding water well disinfection.
- DO NOT eat foods that have come into contact with flood waters. Throw away food that
cannot be kept cold or properly heated due to lack of power.
- Don’t use a generator, pressure washer, charcoal grill, camp stove, or any other
gasoline- or charcoal-burning device inside your home, garage, or near a window, door,
or vent. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. If carbon monoxide poisoning is
suspected, seek fresh air and consult with a health care professional immediately.
- If there is standing water in your home, never turn power on or off yourself- contact an
- Remove mold by washing with soap and water and letting surfaces dry completely. Some materials such as moldy clothing, ceiling tiles, and sheetrock may need to be replaced. If mold-related illness is suspected, consult a healthcare professional.
- Remember to frequently wash your hands with soap and clean water! If clean water is
not available, use hand sanitizer. Wash your hands often, especially before preparing
food, before eating, after using the restroom, and after any cleanup activities. Washing
your hands will help prevent illness.
The Mendocino County Public Health Department will continue to monitor the situation in
order to help protect our community’s health. Please contact Environmental Health at (707)
234-6625 if you notice any problems or have questions.