Larimer County Department of Health and Environment: Flood waters unsafe, unhealthy

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The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment reiterates warnings put out by the State Department of Public Health and Environment: Do not enter local rivers and streams at this time.

All river corridors and streams in Larimer County could potentially be contaminated with sewage and other contaminants due to flooding and could therefore pose health hazards. This includes high water runoff from rivers and streams that might seem safe to walk in. Other hazards that are more obvious include floating debris and rushing water.

Due to the severe flooding, rivers and streams may be contaminated with partially treated sewage and other wastewater due to power failures and damage to wastewater treatment systems.

The Health Department advises that residents of Larimer County and visitors to the area:
• Keep out of rivers and streams until further notice
• Keep children and/or pets out of the water and clean all toys that have come in contact with the water
• Wash hands well after contact with the water
• If you have open wounds that come in contact with the water, check with your doctor about receiving a tetanus booster shot
• If you’ve been in contact with possibly contaminated water and develop diarrhea, vomiting or fever, see your health provider as soon as possible.

The Health Department also advises that people who get their drinking water from small water systems or private wells boil their drinking water if there is a suspicion that the water systems were impacted by the flood. This can be done by bringing the water to a boil, let it boil for three (3) minutes, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water.

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