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Flooded Basement: Procedures for Clean-up

Please follow the recommended procedures from the Province of Manitoba and Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) when cleaning up after a flood:

Sandbag Removal

When handling sandbags both safety and health concerns are important. Whether or not sandbags have been exposed to floodwaters, they should all be removed with the same precautions.

  • Watch your footing to reduce both injury and risk of drowning
  • Wear protective clothing, rubber boots and work gloves.
  • Keep open cuts and sores covered and dry.
  • Take frequent rest breaks
  • Remember to wash your hands well with soap after removing clothes and before eating.

Sand from sandbags should not be used as protective surfacing under children's playground equipment or in sandboxes or other areas where children play.


  • The grade of sand (size of sand particles) is not uniform and therefore will not meet acceptable CSA guidelines for a surface capable of providing impact absorption during a fall from playground equipment
  • The grade of sand may be too fine causing blowing and dustiness on playgrounds
  • The grade of sand may be too coarse/sharp causing abrasions during regular play activities.
  • The sand may contain high clay content and may cause staining to children's clothing (not a health concern)
  • There is theoretical risk of microbial contamination of sand that has been in contact with flood water.

Sand from sandbags could be used for landscaping purposes without posing a health concern. For examples, the sand could be covered with topsoil and seeded or it could be used under sidewalk blocks or cement.

Last update: March 19, 2019