Published: January 12, 2016

    Cleanup Begins after Illinois & Missouri Flooding

    In the last week of 2015, heavy rainfall deluged most of Missouri and Illinois, causing floods across the two states. The Mississippi River, along with most waterways in the area, broke its banks, leaving some areas were under as much as four feet of water. At the time of this writing, the death toll for the two states stood at twenty-five, with most fatalities occurring when vehicles attempted to cross floodwater.

    As of 7 January, flood water had receded from all but the southern areas of both states. Further flooding is expected further south, especially in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

    With the water receding, people are being warned to be cautious about pollution. The water remaining in flooded basements and surrounding areas could well be contaminated by raw sewage, fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Gasoline, livestock waste, industrial chemicals, and dead animals may also be in the mix. As homes dry out, dangerous molds may develop behind sheetrock and in basements.

    Such contamination also raises the possibility public drinking water may not be safe, and many areas remain under boil water advisories even if they were safely outside of flood zones. In St. Louis, Missouri, floodwater damaged two wastewater treatment plants, spewing raw sewage into the Mississippi. While water treatment has since resumed, officials warn purification may not be at optimum levels and recommend residents continue boiling water.

    Floods of this magnitude occur with regularity across the US, costing billions and increasing the risk of drinking water contamination. E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella bacteria often occur in drinking water after floods, all three of which can cause severe intestinal distress.

    While boiling water for ten minutes kills such organisms, doing so leaves water with a flat taste. In areas affected by power outages, boiling water may not even be possible. In such cases, Pelican’s 6-stage reverse osmosis water filter is indispensable. The system is designed to remove ionic material from water—substances many times smaller than bacteria. Simply put, bacteria are too large to make it through the filter’s membrane.

    Affordable, easy to install and made to fit under your kitchen cabinet, our reverse osmosis filters provide peace of mind during boil water advisories. And as they require no electricity to operate, you’ll have access to cleaner, safer water even during power failures.