Health & Safety

Information about boil water advisories, preventing mold, decontaminating your well, and food safety.

Returning to your Home

Safety tips for returning home for the first time including contact with flood waters, generator, propane tanks and electrical equipment safety, see Returning to your Home.

Boil Water Advisories

Please refer to your local water district regarding boil water notices.

System Name Date Reason
East Austin Creek MWC
System Number: 4900629
Lifted:
3/6/2019
Power outage depressurized system
River Bend Resort
System Number: 4900745
Initiated:
2/28/2019
Flooding
Vino Farms, Inc. -Wasson Ranch
System Number: 4901161
Initiated:
2/28/2019
Flooding
Alexander Valley Acres Water Company
System Number: 4900646
Lifted:
3/6/2019
Flooded Well
Hilton Mutual Water Company
System Number: 4901309
Lifted:
3/11/2019
Flooded Well
Sonoma County Mutual Water Company
System Number: 4900640
Lifted:
3/7/2019
Flooded Well
Hilton Park Family Campground
System Number: 4900898
Initiated:
3/4/2019
Flooding
Francis Coppola Winery
System Number: 4900844
Lifted:
3/6/2019
Flooding
Duncans Mills Trading Company
System Number: 4900847
Initiated:
3/5/2019
Flooding

Dry out your Home to Prevent Mold

If flood or storm water has entered your home, dry it out as soon as possible to prevent mold. Follow these steps:

  • If you have electricity and an electrician has determined that it’s safe to turn it on, use a “wet-dry” shop vacuum (or the vacuum function of a carpet steam cleaner), an electric-powered water transfer pump, or sump pump to remove standing water. If you are operating equipment in wet areas, be sure to wear rubber boots.
  • If you do not have electricity, or it is not safe to turn it on, you can use a portable generator to power equipment to remove standing water.
  • If weather permits, open windows and doors of the house to aid in the drying-out process.
  • Use fans and dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture. Fans should be placed at a window or door to blow the air outwards rather than inwards, so not to spread the mold.
  • Have your home heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system checked and cleaned by a maintenance or service professional who is experienced in mold cleanup before you turn it on.
  • Prevent water outdoors from re-entering your home. For example, rainwater from gutters or the roof should drain away from the house; the ground around the house should slope away from the house to keep basements and crawl spaces dry.
  • Ensure that crawl spaces in basements have proper drainage to limit water seepage. Ventilate to allow the area to dry out.

For more information on mold cleanup, visit Homeowner’s and Renter’s Guide to Mold Cleanup After Disasters.

How to Decontaminate your Water Well

Wells that have been inundated by floodwaters may pose a health risk. Residents are advised not to use potentially contaminated well water for drinking, cooking or bathing until the water has been disinfected and tested and determined to be safe. Once the floodwaters have receded, the County recommends well disinfection using the following procedure:

  1. Pump well water until water is relatively clear, and then stop the pump.
    Warning: There is danger of electric shock and damage to the well or pump if they have been flooded.
  2. Add regular unscented household chlorine bleach (5.25%) to the well according to the following chart for each 100 feet of well depth:
    Well Casing Diameter Amount of 5.25% (Household) Chlorine Bleach Needed
    4 inches Two and one-half (2½) cups
    6 inches Five (5) cups
    8 inches Seven (7) cups
    12 inches Twenty (20) cups OR One and one-quarter (1¼) gallons
  3. Open all faucets until water smells of chlorine at the tap farthest from the well. If there is no chlorine odor, add more chlorine bleach to the well until there is a chlorine odor.
  4. Close faucets and do not use any water from the system for 24 hours. Adequate chlorine contact time with bacteria is important for effectiveness of disinfection.
  5. After 24 hours, attach a garden hose to an outside tap and run water outside until the chlorine odor disappears. Chlorine can damage septic systems and may injure grass or plants, so select the water discharge method and area carefully.
  6. Have water tested for presence/absence of bacteria by a certified laboratory.

Caution: Wastewater from malfunctioning septic tanks or chemicals seeping into the ground can contaminate groundwater long after the flood. Test water quality regularly to ensure a safe water supply.

For more information go to http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Health/Environmental-Health-and-Safety/ or contact Environmental Health at (707) 565-6565.

Laboratories Certified for Bacteriological and/or Chemical Analysis

water well

  • Brelje and Race Laboratories, Inc.
    425 South E Street
    Santa Rosa, CA 95404
    Telephone (707) 544-8807
    (bacteriological and chemical testing)
  • CalTest Laboratory
    1885 North Kelly Road
    Napa, CA 94558
    Telephone (707) 258-4000
    (bacteriological and chemical testing)
  • Sonoma County Public Health Regional Laboratory
    3313 Chanate Road
    Santa Rosa, CA 95404
    Telephone (707) 565-4711 (bacteriological testing)
  • Far West Laboratories Inc.
    P O Box 355
    Riverbank, CA 95367
    Telephone (800) 750-9260
    Bacteriological and chemical testing: (209) 869-9260

Food Safety

Follow these steps to keep your Food Safe during and after flood conditions.

  1. Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water.
  2. Discard any food and beverage that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water.
    • Food containers that are waterproof include undamaged, commercially prepared foods in all-metal cans and “retort pouches” (like flexible, shelf-stable juice or seafood pouches).
    • Food containers that are not waterproof include those with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps.
    • Also discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
  3. Discard any food in damaged cans. Damaged cans are those with swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting, or crushing/denting that is severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel-type can opener.
  4. Thoroughly wash metal pans, ceramic dishes, and utensils (including can openers) with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse and then sanitize them by boiling in clean water or immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented household (5.25% concentration) liquid bleach per gallon of water.
  5. Thoroughly wash countertops with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse and then sanitize by applying a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented household (5.25% concentration) liquid bleach per gallon of water. Allow to air dry.

Mental Health Resources

Adult & Aging Department

Available to serve elderly and disabled residents, assists In-Home Supportive Services recipients, and provides housing and caregiver assistance.

Phone: (707) 565-5900
Website: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Human-Services/Adult-and-Aging-Division/

Emotional Support/Crisis Counseling

Counselors are available to talk with anyone who needs emotional support and offer techniques to help reduce stress and impacts of trauma.

Phone: (707) 608-8807
Website: https://www.sonomacountyrecovers.org/california-hope-program-provides-crisis-counselors-for-fire-victims/

Disaster Distress Helpline is available 24-7

If you are experiencing emotional distress, perhaps because of recent red flag warnings or smoke from fires outside Sonoma County, a national Disaster Distress Helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.

This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster.

  • Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Spanish speakers can call 1-800-985-5990 and press “2” or text Hablanos to 66746.
  • The deaf or hard of hearing can text TalkWithUs to 66746 or TTY by calling 1-800-846-8517.

The hotline is provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation

For more information, go to  www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline