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Concerns human waste may have left drains during flash floods

Concerns human waste may have left drains during flash floods

Tuesday 17 January 2023

Concerns human waste may have left drains during flash floods

Tuesday 17 January 2023

Islanders have been warned to refrain from sea swimming until Saturday and parents have been told to be careful where their children play amid concerns that sewage including human waste may have come out of the drain system during today's flash floods.

Over 50 families have so far had to leave their homes in the Grands Vaux area, which was worst affected by the floods.


Pictured: Islanders are asked to refrain from sea swimming until Saturday morning.

Today, the Director of Public Health, Professor Peter Bradley, issued advice to support islanders who may have concerns following the flash flooding.

Professor Bradley said: "Flood water is dangerous; it can be fast flowing and can hide many dangers. My advice is that, should any flash floods occur again over the coming days, Islander should always assume the water is contaminated with sewage or other pollutants and may conceal hidden hazards such as a missing manhole cover."

The Director of Pubic Health recommended that islanders avoid walking or driving though water, keep children and vulnerable people away, wash hands thoroughly if in contact with flood water, and avoid allowing pets to enter flooded areas.

He added: "The overspill of human waste contains harmful microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. Direct contact with the overspill water or surfaces contaminated by sewage can result in illnesses that can cause diarrhoea and vomiting."


Pictured: Jersey's Director of Public Health, Professor Peter Bradley.

The Chief Executive of Jersey Water Helier Smith used last night's press conference as an opportunity to reassure customers on mains water that they have no reason to be concerned about their water quality, explaining that the "significant disruption of the raw water" is being treated and continuously monitored.

"Quality is 100% as we'd expect," he explained.

However, the Jersey Water Chief Executive suggested that islanders who get their water from a borehole should exercise caution, particularly those who live near a sewage pump station.

He said: "I would personally recommend that you boil water before consuming it".

Helier Smith

Pictured: Jersey Water's Chief Executive, Helier Smith, speaking during this evening's press conference.

The Director of Public Health, Professor Peter Bradley, added: "To make water safe to use in the home; drinking, brushing teeth or cooking, Islanders can bring the water to a rolling boil for two minutes to make it safe for use. Alternatively, we would recommend using bottled water.

"If concerns for borehole water remain, or if there are vulnerable groups; those under 5, over 65, pregnant, breast feeding or immunocompromised relying on a private water supply, we would recommend using bottled water."

Chief Fire Officer Paul Brown added that islanders should not enter flood waters, particularly when they cannot see the floor beneath them, as some drain covers may have lifted.

Follow Express for updates...


Community "once again showing strength and resilience", says CM

Grands Vaux reservoir can "withstand magnitudes of worse weather"

"Major incident" declared as overflowing reservoir threatens 30 more homes

WATCH: Homes left without electricity as heavy rain causes flash floods

SUPPORT: Dedicated helpline set up to offer support to islanders affected by flooding

Pictured top: Water pouring out of a drain at Les Ruisseaux during today's flash floods. (Jon Guegan)

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