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Proper Sewage Cleanup Procedures

By Florida Department of Health in Brevard County

November 09, 2022

November 9, 2022

Proper Sewage Cleanup Procedures

Cynthia Leckey, EH Director

Viera, FL — Heavy rainfall may result in flood waters that are contaminated. The following cleaning and disinfecting procedures are recommended to prevent illness.

How to clean up sewage contaminated items and sewage spills inside your home

  • Wear protective clothing, such as rubber boots and waterproof gloves.
  • Clean hard-surfaced walls and floors and other household surfaces with soap and water, followed by disinfecting with a solution of ¼ cup of bleach in one gallon of water. Once cleanup is complete, dry out affected items to prevent the growth of mold.
  • Remember to not mix bleach with ammonia cleaners or acids because a dangerous gas will be formed.
  • Wash all linens and clothing in hot water or have them dry cleaned.
  • Discard items that cannot be washed or dry cleaned, such as mattresses, carpeting, wall coverings and upholstered furniture.

For spills outside your home

  • Contact your utility company or a registered septic tank contractor for cleanup.
  • Minor spills requiring immediate attention may be disinfected with regular garden lime (calcium hydroxide). Follow the lime container’s label instructions for any personal protective equipment needed.
    • Only use lime outdoors.
    • Sprinkle the lime onto the spill so the spill is dusted mostly white on the surface. To remove solids and thicker residue, use a rake and place the material into a trash bag for disposal. Sprinkle lime again on the area.
    • After a day, rake up the thicker residue again and place it in a trash bag for disposal. Use a sprinkler or hose to water the remainder of the lime and residue into the soil.
    • Let the area dry in the sun for a day before allowing access. If there is still white lime dust visible on the yard, water it until the white dust is gone.

Follow proper hygiene procedures to prevent illness

  • Keep hands and fingers away from the nose, mouth, eyes and ears.
  • Wash hands with soap and water immediately after cleanup efforts, as well as before eating or drinking.
  • Keep fingernails short and clean them by using a stiff brush to remove dirt and foreign materials.
  • Do not mix clean and used work clothes.
  • Shower soon after cleaning up sewage or if you were in contaminated flood waters.
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