Use extreme caution following flooding, sewage overflows

WINSTON COUNTY - Due to recent flooding in many northern Alabama counties, especially in the Shoals area, some public sewer systems may overflow.  While repairs are being made for any overflow, the health department advises residents to take precautions when encountering any standing water from sewage overflows.

Dr. Karen Landers, District Medical Officer, Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), states, “Those who have come into direct contact with untreated sewage are advised to wash their hands and clothing thoroughly.”

Private wells that have been covered by flood water should be assumed to have been contaminated.  Do not drink water from your well or feed it to your animals until you have tested it and received a satisfactory result.  Until water is known to be free of contaminants, residents should only use clear water which has been brought to a rolling boil for one minute or purified bottled water.

The ADPH further advises area residents to take precautions in recreational waters that may be contaminated by sewage. All fish caught should be thoroughly cooked before eating. People should wash their hands after cleaning fish and before preparing food.

Residents with questions related to their public sewage systems should contact their local utility provider.

For additional information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website at

See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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