The City of Winter Park has just shared a little guide on how to clean up after flood waters that (most likely) were contaminated with sewage, following city-wide floods that followed record-level rains from Hurricane Ian.

The following cleaning and disinfecting procedures are recommended by the City of Winter Park in order to prevent illnesses:

  • 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 affected items to prevent the growth of mold.
  • Remember to not mix bleach with ammonia cleaners or acids because a dangerous gas will form.
  • 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 you can:

  • 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.
    • The lime should be sprinkled on the spill until 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 wash 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.

While cleaning up, you should keep your hands and fingers away from your face at all times and wash your hands with soap and water immediately after cleanup. Be sure to shower as soon as you’re done cleaning up sewage or if you were contaminated with flood waters.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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