Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Christchurch Quake - No Water Cleaning Advice

Many affected parts of Christchurch City are still without water and many that have water should not use the water without first sterilizing it by boiling. With water pipes and sewer pipes breaking in the devastated areas of the city there has been contamination of the water supply by sewerage. Sewerage will carry disease organisms that can cause gastroenteritis and other diseases.

It is vital to prevent the spread of illness by following some simple rules:
  1. Unless otherwise advised by your water service, boil all water before drinking or using for brushing teeth. Even showering in contaminated water can risk organisms entering the mouth.
    Water should be boiled for at least 1 minute. In automatic kettles this means bringing to the boil again after the it has switched off once.
  2. Washing hands with possibly contaminated water can be followed by drying and the use of alcohol based hand sanitisers of at least 60% alcohol e.g. NO Germs Hand Sanitiser.
  3. When using alcohol sanitisers rub the gel into hands for at least 15 seconds then allow to dry. Do not use tissues and do not use with water.
  4. Where no water is available the alcohol sanitiser can be used on its own, but wash accumulated dirt from hands as soon as possible; as in 2 above.
  5. Children can be particularly vulnerable because they may play in contaminated areas and then unconsciously suck fingers or ingest contaminated material. Use sanitiser regularly and keep children away from material that may be of risk.
  6. Portable toilets and chemical toilets are being shipped to and distributed around affected areas of Christchurch. As there are not likely to toilets for each household there will be sharing of the facilities. There is a risk of spreading disease when using the toilets. Sanitize before and after using the toilets.
  7. Chemical toilets use chemicals such as NO Germs Racasan which is a formaldehyde based sterilization fluid. Racasan can also be used to clean down and sterilise hard surfaces.
Stay clean and stay safe.

When going to bed always take a full glass of water and an empty glass.
In the middle of the night you don't know if you'll be thirsty or not.

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