Midwest flooding risks to Indoor Air Quality

Davenport, Iowa, June 2019.

Midwest flooding risks come from regional agricultural production, commercial pollution and sewage overflow. Residents of impacted areas need to be vigilant. Cleanup poses risks because harmful bacteria, molds, protozoa and viruses linger long after flooding recedes.

Davenport, IA – Midwest flooding risks rise with the waters of the mighty Mississippi river and its tributaries. Weeks of flooding comes after the 12 wettest months in the U.S. since record keeping started. Levees have been breached and dams opened to ease the strain. Tens of thousands of people have evacuated and sought shelter. Businesses and interstates are closed. Millions of acres of farmland are swamped disrupting the planting season. The Mississippi has been in flood stage for more than 80 days with little sign of retreat!

It’s clear that Midwest flooding risks public safety. When water breaches man made barriers it becomes a mixture of everything it permeates. This includes toxic a-biological and biological contaminants. Special areas of concern being regional agrichemical and waste water treatment facilities.

Midwest Flooding Risks – Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

Health and safety issues still arise even after a building has been restored. Just because the conditions “look” optimal doesn’t mean it’s safe. The spaces between walls and floors could yet be harboring chemical and/or biological contaminants. Surface discoloration and foul odors indicate more remediation is needed. If the discoloration or odor is in multiple places, then it is of greater concern. The wall cavity can be 100 times more concentrated than what is seen on the exterior surface. That’s when it’s time to call a professional to test the indoor environment.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Testing

Professional testing and laboratory analysis is required when issues are found. These types of evaluations determine the extent of damage, ongoing conditions, and health risks lurking within the affected building.

Possible Midwest flooding risks to test for include but are not limited to:

  • Bacteria Total
  • Chemicals
  • Coli-forms Total
  • E. Coli
  • Fungal Total
  • Legionella
  • Listeria
  • Salmonella

Air, bulk, liquid and surface samples collected from affected areas are needed for analysis. The results identify and quantify contaminants to support the proper cleanup effort. You can test for Midwest flooding risks in two ways.

The first method is a do-it-yourself (DIY) test kit. The evalu-aire kit offers both air and surface sample collection and provides professional laboratory analysis. DIY test kits are a quick what to get started. However, if the report comes back positive for elevated levels on contaminants, then a professional firm is needed for more conclusive investigation.

A professional IEQ/IAQ firm will investigate the source and cause of issues on a forensic level. They assess the ambient conditions, building envelope, wall cavities and the HVAC system to make recommendations for the restoration of optimal building health.

It is critical to assess IEQ issues in real time. The longer you wait, the more severe they become. Pure Air Control Services has cooperative purchasing contracts with E&I and TIPS that allow city, county, state and educational institutions to quickly procure the necessary testing and remedial services.

As the waters recede, and recovery efforts begin it is important to understand Midwest flooding risks. The pose a serious threat to building health. So, professional environmental analysis is crucial to restore safe conditions for occupancy.

To get started with our emergency response program or for more info on IAQ/IEQ testing please call us today at 1-800-422-7873 or email us here.