Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
Flood water precautions
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are cautioning the public and all responders about the potential hazards associated with flood waters.
Every effort should be made to limit contact with flood water due to potentially elevated levels of contamination associated with raw sewage and other hazardous substances.
Drinking water and food
States, Feds Report on Seafood:
The states of Alabama, Mississippi
and Louisiana, along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration have analyzed hundreds of samples
of fish and shellfish from the waters affected by Hurricanes
Katrina and Rita. To date, the data show no reason for concern
about consuming seafood from the Gulf region due to the hurricanes.
- Boil water - To kill major water-borne diseases, bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Boil 3 minutes at elevations above 5280 ft (1 mile or 1.6 km).
- What to do about water from household wells after a flood . Do not turn on the pump - danger of electric shock. Do not drink or wash with water from the flooded well. More info. General info about household wells.
- Dehydration (extreme thirst) can be life-threatening in older adults. Make sure older adults have enough good drinking water and are drinking it. Older adults risk dehydration because they may feel thirsty less, because of medications, or due to physical conditions that make it difficult to drink. More information about dehydration risks in older adults.
- EPA and HHS Urge Caution in Areas Exposed to Contaminated Flood Water - guidelines for those in contact with flood water. Flood water test results...
For water and wastewater facilities
- Funding Brochures on Infrastructure Damage in Louisiana and Mississippi – Two funding guides, prepared by EPA in cooperation with other agencies, describe how to apply for funding for the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged water and wastewater facilities. Separate brochures are available for Louisiana and for the six southern counties of Mississippi.
- Suggested post-hurricane activities - to help facilities recover from severe weather conditions.