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Post-Irene Information for the VLS Community

For the Vermonters Affected By Hurricane Irene...

Information on Post-Flood Environmental and Public Health Concerns

General Information on Post-Flood Clean-Up

After the Flood Safe Drinking Water Advisory
BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health is offering free water test kits for residents with private drinking water wells that may have been contaminated with floodwaters.

“If your private drinking water well was covered with floodwater, is located very near a flooded area, or there is a change in quality – odor or taste – assume that it is contaminated, take all precautions and get it tested,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD.

Drinking water safety guidance for wells affected by flooding:
  • Until a test confirms that your water is safe, boil water for one minute before use in drinking, cooking, making juice or ice, washing fruits and vegetables and brushing teeth.
  • Shower with caution when on a boil-water notice. Avoid getting water in eyes, mouth and wounds. Do not allow children to swallow bath water if on a boil-water notice.
  • If there is a smell of petroleum or fuel, do not drink or use water at all for cooking, bathing or washing. Use bottled water or water from a known safe source. Call 1-800-439-8550 for consultation and testing information.
  • Residents who get their drinking water from a public system should look for boil water or other instructions put out by their own system.

Read the full Advisory here. 09/06/11: After the Flood Food Safety Advisory

BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health is advising gardeners to throw away any fruits and vegetables – including root crops – that have been in contact with floodwater. According to the federal Food and Drug Administration, all flood-affected crops – fruits and vegetables, above and below ground – should not be consumed, sold or given away.

Apples, pears or other high-growing fruit that were not touched by floodwater should be washed with a known safe source of water before eating.

“Any fresh produce that has been in contact with floodwaters cannot be considered safe to eat,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD. “This is a change from our earlier advisory. Because the flooding was so extensive and so forceful, there is potential for contamination that cannot be washed or disinfected away.”

Read the full Advisory here.

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Potential Impacts on the Environment

Water Quality
Air Quality

Safe Clean-Up Practices

Potential Human Health Risks
Workplace Safety

Waste Management and Disposal

  • Vermont law bans a number of items from landfill disposal, including batteries, electronics, hazardous waste, liquid waste, regulated medical waste, mercury-added products, used oil, paint, gas cylinders, tires, white goods (refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, etc.). In this memorandum by Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, they explain how to dispose of these different types of waste properly
    • For more information on where you can dispose of these kinds of waste, you must contact your local waste management district.
    • For the Royalton area, Greater Upper Valley Solid Waste District's website contains a "What Do I Do With…" page that may be helpful to properly disposing of certain kinds of wastes.
  • For waste that may be disposed of in a landfill, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources provides a list of Vermont's Solid Waste Management Districts and their contact information at
    • Many of the solid waste management district websites contain information about local waste disposal facilities. For information on how to dispose of waste in the Royalton area, see the District's main site on Trash and Recycling Facilities in the Greater Upper Valley Region, available at:
  • To report a clean-up site in need of help, you may fill out a report with the Connecticut River Partnership at: