WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — Health officials in Chicago’s northern suburbs are warning residents to take precautions following recent floods.

The Lake County Health Department says residents should avoid contact with floodwater and not drink or wash with water from private wells that have been flooded. They say flood water can contain harmful bacteria and other contaminants.

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Larry Mackey is Director of Environmental Health. He says there is a particular concern about septic systems that become submerged and may release sewage into flood water. That water can reach private wells.

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The county will be offering free well water testing for residence in certain areas once the flood waters have receded. Homeowners who suspect their septic system has been damaged are encouraged to have their systems professionally inspected and serviced.

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