Dozens of homeowners in Sioux Falls woke up to sewer water in their basements Friday morning; as a result, officials with the City Department of Health have issues a Sanitary Sewer Health Emergency.
Jill Franken with the Sioux Falls Health department is cautioning area resident to use extreme caution in dealing with the floodwaters in their homes because everything the water touches will have to be disinfected to eliminate disease-causing bacteria, viruses and fungi.
The best way to begin the clean-up is to use a solution of household bleach and water. Usually one ounce of bleach for every one gallon of water is effective. Disinfectant cleaners, such as Lysol or any other brand-name cleaner, are also effective in reducing the health risk associated with floodwaters.
In addition to airing out your home, some appliances that have come into contact with the floodwaters will need to be replaced and or inspected; these include water heaters and furnaces. It's also important, health officials say, to dry out the areas you can't see by opening up, cleaning and disinfecting cavities in walls, floors and ceilings.
The good news is that the water from your tap is safe in Sioux Falls. Health officials say there is no need to boil water before drinking or cooking, but they are asking people not to go swimming or boating in the Big Sioux River because of the untreated wastewater in it.
The City has put together tips on what to do if you have sewer backup in your home. It includes useful contact information. Download the City of Sioux Falls Sewer Backup Brochure