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How Is Water Contamination Caused By Flooding?

water contamination
Reading Time: 3 minutes

With our six-month-long hurricane season, South Florida is no stranger to flooding. While the dangerous waters are a destructive nuisance, flooding can also be a health hazard. As substantial amounts of water flow rapidly, the flood can pick up debris, soil, and other pollutants. This water contamination can be a great danger to our potable water sources and overall health.

Here, the experts at Art Rooter, Sewer & Drain Cleaning explain everything you need to know about flooding and water contamination.

Water Contamination During a Flood

Though floods are common, accounting for around 40% of natural disasters worldwide, the levels of danger they cause vary greatly. Aside from their incredible force, one of the most extreme dangers of floodwater is that we do not know precisely what contaminants could be in the water. Water contamination is anything that is not usually present in your water supply.

Some contaminants include:

  • Biological
  • Chemical
  • Physical
  • Radiological


These organisms, also referred to as microbiological contaminants, can include bacteria, parasites, protozoans, and viruses.


These elements or compounds include both natural and synthetic contaminants and can include bleach, human and animal drugs, metals, nitrogen, pesticides, salts, and toxins from bacteria.


These contaminants can change the look and properties of water and can include organic materials and sediment from soil erosion.


These unbalanced chemical elements cause ionizing radiation due to unstable atoms, including cesium, plutonium, and uranium.

Other Sources of Water Contamination

While it is easy to break down the types of water contamination into four main groups, it can be challenging to get an idea of specific examples.

Other sources of water contamination include:

  • Agricultural
  • Oil
  • Wastewater


When flooding occurs, animal waste, fertilizers, and pesticides can pollute the water.


When flooding occurs, oil from factories, farms, oil tankers, and even our streets can pollute the water.


When flooding occurs, agricultural, commercial, industrial, stormwater runoff, and sewage can pollute the water.

Dangers Of Water Contamination from Flooding

During flooding, water contamination can be hazardous for both human health and the environment. Some of the problems it can cause include:

Human Health Concerns

No matter the type of contamination, floodwaters can make you and your family sick. One of the most common illnesses is bacteria and viruses from animal and human waste contaminating floodwater. These diseases include cholera, giardia, Legionnaires, and typhoid.

Because of the unknown nature of water contamination, human exposure can also cause gastrointestinal illness, skin rash, tetanus, and wound infections. Staying out of floodwater is the best way to keep safe. If you must come into contact with floodwater, always thoroughly wash the area as soon as possible. Clothes should be washed with detergent and at the highest setting.

Environmental Concerns

Though our ecosystem is complex, each link in its chain is reliant on each other; especially when it comes to water. One of the most common occurrences is an algal bloom in marine habitats. These pollutants cause plants and algae to grow rapidly, vastly reducing oxygen levels in the water and killing off plant and animal life. Chemical runoff is also an issue to the environment as it poisons marine habitats. Debris from flooding is also a threat to the environment.

How Art Rooter, Sewer & Drain Cleaning Can Help You in A Flood

Floods are unpredictable, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from water contamination. One of the best ways is to receive routine sewer inspections. Our technicians not only look for issues and damages in your sewer lines, but also problems with tree roots, gutters, downspouts, and downpours, internal drain inspections, and more! These preventative measures help to decrease the chances your home’s water will face contamination.

If you are ready to schedule an expert inspection with Art Rooter, Sewer & Drain Cleaning, call us at 1-888-773-1524 or schedule service online today!


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