Prolonged Exposure to Stormwaters and Contamination Can Make You Sick

What is in stormwater that is hazardous to your health?

Stormwater can contain more than just storm runoff from city or town area floods. There is a high chance that there are viruses, bacteria, mycotoxins, chemicals, pesticides and other contaminants that can be found in stormwaters. This is because stormwaters are dangerous and as they move across land, they pick up any contaminants that are already in the area. For example, if a field has been dusted with pesticides, then those chemicals will be dragged along when stormwaters move across the area in a flood.
Sewer systems also contain dangerous microorganisms that can be carried along by stormwaters. In that case, there are dangerous contaminants that are alive floating around, and living in the sewer system. This dirty water can become susceptible to the runoff of stormwaters as they rush by during a high-level storm. Research has shown that in various scientific and medical studies it has been shown that when people are exposed to stormwaters and the accompanying contaminants, that the exposure may increase the risk of acquiring diseases, illnesses or symptoms as a result of that exposure. Although it is unusual for a person to experience an increase in illnesses or symptoms because of the initial exposure to contaminated water, it can happen and precautions should be taken if you are living or working in or near these areas after a flood.
Stormwaters run quickly after a storm and can cause devastation to property because of the flooding that usually accompanies this water damage type of event. Once stormwaters start to run, they are hard to control and they seep into homes along the path of the general area of the flood. When stormwaters overtake an area, the flood is able to pick up a variety of contaminants, microorganisms, bacteria and viruses along the way. The stormwaters will deposit the contaminants that it is carrying whenever the water stops running. It is important to prevent the ingestion of water that has been contaminated by stormwaters, as that can lead to health symptoms and diseases.
The first inclination for homeowners who have been in a flood is to try to remediate the stormwaters themselves by applying bleach to stormwater damaged personal items and areas of the home affected by the water damage. But in this case, it is a better idea for the pros to come in to remediate any flooding related to stormwater. Stormwater is dirty water, and it cannot be stressed enough! If you have touched, walked through, or tried to clean up stormwaters, the risk of exposure to the stormwater contaminants can be as high as 100%. Stormwaters can harbor many serious diseases, such as:
•    E. coli
•    Giardiasis
•    Tetanus
•    Vibrio vulnificus
•    Coliform
•    Cholera
•    Hepatitis A
•    Cryptosporidium

The symptoms of diseases such as gastroenteritis include:

•    Abdominal cramps
•    Headache
•    Slight fever
•    Nausea
•    Vomiting
•    Muscle aches
•    Diarrhea
•    Skin rashes

The hazards that can be present in stormwaters also can include stormwater debris from other homes and businesses that are picked up by the stormwater along the way, including:

•    Flammable liquids
•    Storm debris
•    Pesticides
•    Household and industrial chemicals
•    Human waste
•    Dead animals

Any time that you experience water damage from stormwaters, it is difficult and exhausting to clean it up. We are here to do the cleanup of water damage and stormwaters, so that you don’t have to be exposed to hazards and contaminants during the cleanup efforts. You don’t have to do it yourself! We are able to clean up all contaminants related to stormwater, and prevent the spread of hazardous and harmful diseases. We will be ready to come to you 24/7, just give us a call at the first sign of stormwater or water damage.