10 February 2017

Health warning following recent floods

The Department of Health is advising people in the communities of Katanning, Wagin, Narrogin, Williams and Northam, (downstream on the Avon River) to avoid playing in or around storm water following recent flooding in the area.

Department of Health Water Unit Manager Richard Theobald said sewage overflows in these areas had the potential to reach storm water drains, leading to possible health risks for anyone who comes into contact with the water.

“In all situations of sewage overflows (also referred to as wastewater overflow) a clean-up procedure is needed for your property,” Mr Theobald said.

“Anyone involved in the clean-up procedure should wear personal protective clothing such as rubber boots, rubber gloves and washable or disposable coveralls.

“Unprotected persons should be evacuated from the affected area until the area has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.”

Mr Theobald said people should follow some simple safety precautions to minimise health risks. These include:

  • Assume anything touched by wastewater is contaminated.
  • Wash your hands and affected areas of the body thoroughly with clean warm water and soap, especially before eating or smoking.
  • Wash and disinfect any wounds that come into contact with wastewater immediately.
  • Change out of dirty clothes and wash clothes separately.
  • Clean and dry dirty footwear.
  • Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any illness.

As more rain is expected it is possible that the number of communities impacted by flood water may increase over the next few days.

For more information about cleaning up after a flood visit: http://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/N_R/Recovering-after-the-flood-clean-up-information-for-householders



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