Public Info

Union County Advises Residents on Hazards of Standing Water from Hurricane Irene

Union County, NJ – Floodwaters from Hurricane Irene have receded in Union County but several areas remain under severe conditions, and pockets may still be left in others. To help prevent injuries or illnesses related to floodwaters, County officials advised residents to continue to exercise caution, and to take steps to prevent waterborne diseases.

“Many residents are continuing to suffer the effects of this disaster, but even a small amount of standing water can cause significant problems,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Deborah Scanlon. “We are asking all residents to take a few steps to protect themselves.”

A receding flood is still dangerous due to unpredictable currents and ground conditions.

Waterborne diseases are a major concern, since even a small puddle of contaminated water can spread infection. Residents are reminded to wash hands frequently when cleaning up after a flood. Open wounds should be carefully covered with a waterproof bandage.

Children’s toys, including outdoor toys, should be disinfected before use, and they should avoid playing in yards or other areas where floodwater is still standing.

Swimming pools that may have received floodwater should be drained, disinfected and tested before use.

Chemical hazards can result when cleaning supplies and other household chemicals are moved by floodwaters, so caution should be exercised when handling these containers. The next Union County household special waste recycling event is scheduled for October 29. For more information on Union County recycling services, visit

Mosquito season is still in effect, and they can breed in very small amounts of water – even a bottle cap. Residents are asked to inspect their yards and remove any items that may be collecting water.

Springfield and Summit were still under a boil water advisory from New Jersey American Water as of 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 31. The latest updates can be obtained by following the red “notifications” link at the top of the company’s website,

New Jersey American Water also still had Union County under a discolored water alert as of 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 31.

Additional cleanup guidance is available from the Centers for Disease Control,, including guidance on disinfecting with bleach.

For additional updates visit the Union County website,



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For more information on any Union County press release, please contact Sebastian D’Elia, Communications Director for the County of Union, or a designee listed at the top of this press release.   Please join the County of Union online at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at