Cleaning Up After a Flood

This page gives advice and tips for cleaning up floodwater, sewage and silt overflow on your section.

All floodwater and silt should be assumed to contain sewage. Sewage contains harmful bacteria and viruses and needs to be cleaned up carefully. Keep children and pets away from the area until this is done. Appropriate clean up procedures include:

  • Use rubber gloves and boots, and eye protection.
  • Do NOT dig out the bottom of a slip as the rest of the slip may become unstable. If in doubt keep away and await instructions from Civil Defence staff.
  • First priority should be to clear an accessway to your dwelling so you can access the house without bringing contamination in on your footwear.
  • When things have dried out you can tackle the rest of your section.
  • Use a spade or shovel to remove all gross contamination from the surface of your section. Place it at the edge of your section or other accessible area where it can easily be removed later, but ensure it does not block drainage channels.
  • Avoid contact with contaminated soil and do not eat raw vegetables or salads from soil that has been submerged in flood water.
  • Leave garden surfaces exposed to the air and sunshine to dry out naturally. Make drainage holes with a fork to aerate.
  • Sprinkle hydrated lime on ground that has been contaminated  
  • Hard surfaces such as yards can be cleaned and disinfected with bleach solution of 1.5 cups of household chlorine bleach in 10 Litres of cold water (a household bucket).
  • Wash your hands and any wet parts of your body with soap and water afterwards.