LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — About 1.5 million gallons of raw sewage leaked in the Lynn Haven area at points along Lynn Haven Bayou and Anderson Bayou, health officials wrote in a news release.
“The Florida Department of Health in Bay County (DOH-Bay) advises against swimming in Lynn Haven Bayou and Anderson Bayou until further notice. The City of Lynn Haven will test the water and share results with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Bay County Health Department. Once levels are safe, the advisory will be lifted,” officials wrote. “Sewage contamination of water can expose swimmers to intestinal viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Swimming in the water may cause symptoms like food poisoning with vomiting and diarrhea. Infection is possible in open cuts and wounds that come in contact with the water.”
DOH-Bay recommends the following precautions to help prevent illness from flood waters:
- Basic hygiene is critical. Wash your hands with soap and either disinfected or boiled and cooled water, especially before preparing or eating food, after toilet use, after changing a soiled diaper, after participating in flood cleanup activities and after handling articles contaminated with flood water or sewage.
- The preferred method of treatment is boiling tap water since disinfection does not kill certain parasites, such as Cryptosporidium. Boiling water also kills harmful bacteria and viruses. The process is complete once the water is held at a rolling boil for at least one minute. Allow the water to cool before use.
- When boiling is not an option, disinfect tap water by adding eight drops of regular unscented household bleach (four to six percent strength), which is about 1/8 teaspoon or a dime sized puddle, per gallon of water. If a higher strength bleach is used (8.25 percent strength), only add seven drops of bleach. Mix the solution and let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure only one time.
- Avoid eating or drinking anything that has been contaminated with flood waters.
- Do not wade through standing water. If you do, wash your body and put on clean clothes.
- Avoid contact with flood waters, especially if you have open cuts or sores.
- If you have any open cuts or sores and come in contact with flood waters, wash the area well with soap to prevent infection. If a wound develops redness, swelling or drainage, seek immediate medical attention.
- Residents who sustain lacerations and/or puncture wounds and have not had a tetanus vaccination within the past five years will need a tetanus booster.