Health department: Flooding may cause germs in water

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department is warning residents that recreational water could be contaminated following flooding across the county.

Media outlets report that recent flooding could have caused sewage and pet, livestock and wildlife waste to flush into natural waters, causing an increased risk of harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites in lakes, rivers and streams.

The department says a broken sewer line for the Elk River Public Service District and overflow from private septic systems could contaminate recreational waters, but filtered water from that system is safe to drink.

Swimmers are advised to avoid stagnant, bad-smelling or slow-moving water, keep their heads above water and avoid swimming with open wounds. People should wash or shower thoroughly with soap and clean water after coming into contact with or swimming in flooded areas.

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