Lake Country - Life. The Okanagan Way.

British Columbia, Canada


Is there a Recovery plan and what do I do with the sandbags?

A message from the Province of BC – Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure:

Floodwaters and groundwater in many places in the Central Interior are expected to continue to rise, and the threat may not be over for some time.

Only remove sandbags if directed to do so by your local government or if the flood threat has passed.

When floodwaters begin to recede in British Columbia’s Southern and Central Interior, focus will shift from emergency response to the ongoing recovery in these regions.

As part of this recovery, please follow the directions of local governments for the proper disposal of emergency sandbags.

Sand and sandbags that have been in contact with floodwaters may be exposed to contaminants, and British Columbians are encouraged to take precautions to ensure their safety and the protection of the environment.

  • The sandbags used in the flood response should be removed and appropriately disposed of after it is safe to do so.
  • It is important to wear gloves and boots to protect yourself from scrapes and potential contaminants.
  • Due to the potential of contamination, residents are advised to not use the sand in playgrounds, sandboxes or other areas where there might be direct human contact.
  • Sandbag contents should not be disposed of in lakes, rivers, wetlands, floodplains, parks or other environmentally sensitive or protected areas.
  • Sandbags used in the flood response should be disposed of according to the direction of local emergency authorities. A list of these local authorities can be found at the following link:

Individuals are reminded they should always wash their hands with soap and warm water after contact with floodwaters or handling items that have come into contact with floodwaters.

If an open wound comes into contact with floodwater, soil, or contaminants, immediately:

  • Clean it thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Apply a bandage.
  • Check the wound and change the bandage regularly.
  • See a doctor.

Learn More:

Flooding factsheet:

Be careful when beginning a clean-up. Be aware of physical, microbiological, and chemical hazards:

For information on flood conditions, visit Emergency Info BC:

For more information on applications for Disaster Financial Assistance, please visit:

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