Cleaning up after a disaster can be a daunting task, but is necessary to return homes and business to safe working order. We will describe how to properly collect and handle waste water from the cleaning process.

Recovering from the Sumas Prairie Floods

Nobody wants to have to deal with the fall out of a natural disaster. When it comes to floods, there are a lot of unforeseen and overlooked hazards left when the water begins to subside. Harmful contaminants left in residual sediment need to be removed properly and surfaces require sanitizing to clean and prevent spreading illness.

Recovering from the Sumas Prairie Floods

With the sever flooding that has happened in the Fraser Valleys Sumas Prairie, crews are working around the clock to help residents and business alike recover from the damage caused by this devastating event. There will be weeks of restoration and cleanup required to get the areas affected by the floods back to normal. Rising waters have come in contact with farmyards, manure, garbage, overflowing septic systems and other sources of contamination and disease, and can make you sick. It is very important to have all surfaces that have been in contact with flood waters treated properly. 

During cleanup while flood waters are subsiding, when surfaces are cleaned, the contaminants that settle on the surface are lifted and suspended in the wash water. If this contaminated water reaches storm drains it will likely find its way into local rivers, lakes, and streams. Reclaiming the wash water allows the pollutants to be directed to exactly where they need to go for proper disposal.

This is where the Vacuboom recovery system is very useful for waste water recovery during the flood restoration process. These systems are comprised of a boom (15’ to 40’) that acts like a dam to contain waste water, an inlet hose that draws the waste water from the boom via a very powerful vacuum (101 or 202 cubic feet per minute), and a discharge hose to move the collected waste water from the vacuum to the designated reclamation tank for transport to the proper disposal site. If you or your company require this equipment, it can be purchased at Big Shot Supplies. Our washing division is also available to service any washing and cleanup requirements during this disaster. For haste free quote, contact Big Shot Pressure Washing today.

From the BC Center for Disease Control:

How do I clean and sanitize my flooded home and outbuildings after a flood?

All movable furnishings should be taken outside. Upholstered furniture that has come in contact with water should be left outside to dry completely. Direct sunlight can be a strong disinfectant however, additional cleaning maybe necessary. Thoroughly scrub and clean all surfaces and floors with hot water and detergent as soon as possible after the water has gone down. Clean all woodwork with soap and water.

After cleaning surfaces, wash these with a sanitizing solution. The solution can be made by mixing 500g of chlorinated lime in 25 to 40 litres of water (1 pound of chlorinated lime in 6 to10 gallons). Household laundry bleaches containing 5 to 6 percent sodium hypochlorite may also be used; information will be included on the label. Mix 1 litre of household bleach in 25 litres of water (1 quart of household bleach in 6 to10 gallons of water). Be sure to wear protective gloves, eye protection, and boots, as strong solutions may irritate skin and eyes and cause respiratory symptoms. Clothing that has been worn while cleaning should be washed separately in hot water and detergent.

All standing water in flooded basements should be disinfected, but remember to wait until the flood waters have left the surrounding ground. Measure 2 litres of household bleach and distribute it evenly over any standing water. Stir the bleach and water together as much as possible. Repeat this every 4 to 5 days for as long as the water remains. When pumping basements, do not pump the area too quickly as water in the surrounding soil may cause the collapse of basement walls and/or uplifting of basement floors.

Once the water has been removed from the basement, remove all the silt and mud right away. You may need to use a hose, buckets of water, and rough scrubbing. Remove all items that have come into contact with the flood water including furniture, carpet, toys, clothing and other items. Open all windows to help with drying and apply heat using a furnace or stove if possible. Disinfect all surfaces exposed to flood waters by brushing on a sanitizing solution.

All sheds, garages and other buildings where goods are stored need to be cleaned and disinfected. In particular, utensils and containers used to prepare, preserve or store food need to be washed well and soaked in a chlorine solution.

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