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Effects of Flooding

Flooding: It’s much more than everything you own becoming wet!

When a flood hits, the TV news stories show images of water-filled homes, streets knee deep in the floods and floating possessions along with anxious home and business owners.

Whilst water entering any building is incredibly distressing, there’s more to consider than the problem of water. Issues such as sewage, rodents, debris and bacteria which can cause illness are all areas which need to be faced and dealt with.

Sewage

sewage pipesThe dirty aftermath of any flood is sewage. As waters rise, septic tanks fill and overflow and sewage treatment plants flood. This is a particularly difficult situation to address after the water has gone as it is very upsetting for home and business owners to find their belongings damaged to the point of being discarded. The outcome is that properties need professionally drying out and then massive redecoration projects undertaken to remove the smell and risk of disease.

The sewers of the UK are often overwhelmed in extreme weather conditions. Heavy rainfall displaces the dirty water we all flush away each day and brings it to the surface along with items such as syringes, sanitary items, condoms and used nappies. Sewage is the greatest threat to health after physical dangers such as being washed away and particular care is needed when cleaning up sewage-damaged rooms.

Rodents

Rats are no different to any other animal in that during a flood they are displaced from their natural habitat. Unfortunately this can mean that when a home is left empty due to flooding, there is a strong likelihood that rats will take up residence. Rats can carry diseases, particularly in their urine and one condition humans can catch is Weil’s. This illness can be deadly and affects the kidneys and liver.

Debris

debrisOther than being washed away by flowing water, debris is the most likely cause of injury during a flood.

A small amount of debris in seemingly slow-flowing water can cause an incredible amount of damage to both people and buildings. Even items such as broken glass and nails can be the source of nasty injuries as they travel through the water.

Water pressure is incredible. Travelling at just 10mph, this speed of flow of water is the same amount of pressure as winds of 270mph. Flash floods are the most dangerous kind of event in relation to debris injuries as the damage is swift and affects urban and suburban areas where residents are moving through the streets on foot in rising waters.

Bacteria

bacteriaUK floods of the last 12 months or so have seen some areas hit particularly hard and with this misery comes an increase in toxic bacteria.

Tests on the Somerset standing water showed that it held 60 times the safe levels of bacteria. The reality of this meant that in every 100 millilitres of water, 60,000 to 70,000 bacteria were present. To compare to normal levels, anything over 1000 bacteria in the same amount of water is deemed unsafe.  The tests were carried out by the University of Reading and with the number of septic tanks in the area, it was reported that these results were unwelcome, but unsurprising.

Bacteria in floodwater can be deadly as the result can be cholera and typhoid. Whilst there were no reports of this strain being present in Somerset or the rest of the UK, local residents were advised not to go into the standing water and to stay away from the affected areas for two months after the water had completely receded.

Standing water can also be the cause of airborne diseases which affect the lungs such as

  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Influenza

Other bacteria may live on well after the water levels have dropped and resulting mold in furnishings and curtains can encourage dust mites and cockroaches. This in turn can increase the likelihood of asthma attacks and chest infections.

Keep your family safe during a flood

Dealing with water levels is one thing, having to contend with the added threat to health and well-being is another. Nobody wants to suffer any more than they need to when faced with a flood and being prepared means that the risks can be minimised.

Buying the FloodBlock system means that when there is the possibility of a flood, the system can quickly be put in place – by just one person if needed. The units fit together securely and don’t allow water through. With their unique design, the rising levels aren’t a problem and it means that the home can be left safely knowing that the water won’t enter.

To know you can simply and swiftly protect your property and your family from the health-related issues of a flood, contact FloodBlock today to find out more and to receive a quote for this cost-effective way to stay dry and safe.