Tips for Coping with Floods

Pierce County Public Health Department officials are urging residents who may be affected by the spring floods to take the following health and safety precautions.

The Pierce County Public Health Department recommends that if you have a private well that has been submerged by flood waters, do not drink the water. Wait until the waters recede, disinfect your well, and then sample the well for bacteria.

Sample kits may be obtained from the Pierce County Public Health Department.  If samples come back as having unsafe levels of bacteria present, it is recommended that the well be disinfected again and then re-sampled.  Information on how to perform well sanitizing and sampling can be obtained from the health department or on the Department of Natural Resources web site at:

Here are some other important tips for homeowners when cleaning and repairing their flood-damaged homes:

  1. Carpeting, drywall and other building materials affected by flood waters will in most instances need to be removed and discarded.  ANY POROUS MATERIALS THAT CAN NOT BE DRIED IN 48 HOURS SHOULD BE DISCARDED.
  2. Do not rush to replace drywall and carpeting.  The home must be thoroughly dried before installing new materials.
    • Using dehumidifiers and fans can hasten this process.  Weather permitting, open windows to further assist with the ventilation and drying of basements, crawl spaces and living areas.
    • Walls typically need several days to dry and floors may take several weeks.  It may make sense to remove wet sub flooring. 
  3. If using a portable generator, keep it outside and far away from the building.  The exhaust or fumes from a portable generator could kill you in minutes if you breathe it in.
  4. Remember to protect yourself while cleaning.  Wear work boots, eye and hand protection and, if working with mold, respiratory protection.
    • If you’re not sure when you had your last tetanus immunization please contact the Pierce County Public Health Department at 715-273-6755

If you have questions about flood-related issues, contact the health department, or visit

Flood Hazards & Recovery

Flood Cleanup

Floodplain, zoning, management and grant opportunities for local communities

Safety Steps for Returning Home After the Flood: