County health officials want to remind the public that smelly flood water isn’t a health risk to your nostrils.
Weld County health officials report receiving many complaints from residents concerned about smelly flood water and drying mud.
“While the drying mud and stagnant water do smell bad” said Dr. Mark Wallace, Executive Director for the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment, “Breathing the smelly air does not pose a health hazard. However, residents do need to wear protective clothing and wash their hands thoroughly before eating food or touching their face.”
The unpleasant odors should subside significantly once the ground and water dries up.
Health officials are reminding residents the flood water mud may be contaminated with raw sewage and precautions are warranted. The only possible routes of infection from sewage contaminated floodwater or debris are by ingestion (eating or drinking) or entering the body through a wound. To prevent bacterial infection or other contamination, the following recommendations should be followed:
• Disinfect non-absorbent surfaces of your home and equipment as needed with a solution of 1 part household bleach to 10 parts water or use a commercial disinfectant and follow the manufactures directions.
• Dispose all saturated material that can’t be cleaned. Flood soaked material such as carpet and drywall are typically removed and disposed to a landfill.
• Wash your hands and skin after clean up. Update your tetanus and diphtheria vaccination.