A sewage backup or overflow does more than damage your property – it can also endanger your health! These situations should be considered emergencies as the water can contain bacteria and viruses that can cause serious illnesses. Absolute Restoration has the certifications, expertise and tools needed to quickly and safely remove these hazards and repair the resulting damage.
Not All Contaminated Water is Equal
There are three types of contaminated water that may be present after a water loss:
Category 1: “Clear Water”
This is the type of water loss that normally occurs due to a pipe busting or a hose coming loose from an appliance. This is usually the easiest type to clean up because there are far fewer health hazards than the other categories. But, if it’s not treated quickly, it can rapidly turn into a category 2 or 3, depending on how much time has passed, the temperature and what the water has come into contact with.
Category 2: “Gray Water”
This is water that is slightly contaminated due to one of two reasons:
- The source of the water. (E.g., washing machine overflow, toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces, or dishwasher overflow.)
- Neglect. (E.g., a water loss that started as a category 1 but sat for a long period of time will become a category 2 due to contamination and bacteria growth.)
Category 3: “Black Water”
This is the most hazardous of the three types of water losses. Category 3 losses occur due to natural disasters or sewage damage. This water contains toxic materials and pathogens that are harmful to your health. It’s grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided
No matter what category your loss is, let a qualified professional make sure that it is cleaned, decontaminated and dried properly to keep mold from growing. If your home or business suffers a water loss of any kind, be sure to call Absolute Restoration immediately!
“Black Water” – A Flood of Concerns
We’ve all seen images of people walking through flood waters, which as you learned above is considered “black water”. Many times, they have no choice as they’re trying to escape to higher ground. But sometimes we see pictures of kids, even adults, frolicking in floodwaters. Too some, it’s tempting to play in water in places it’s usually never seen. But no matter where or who you are, here are some reasons why you never want to walk (or play) in floodwaters:
- Creature features – some of your playmates may include poisonous snakes, bugs, leeches, disease-carrying rodents and decaying animal carcasses.
- Shock value – a live power line could give way (which is not unusual in disaster areas) and land in the water you’re standing in. No description necessary.
- Junk in the funk – flood waters can carry and/or hide all sorts of debris that can harm you – broken glass, torn metal, splintered wood, etc.
- The force is not with you – it only takes 6 inches of rapidly moving floodwaters to knock you off your feet and only 2 feet of it to carry away a vehicle.
- Eau de toilet water – many floods cause sewer overflows. Dangerous chemical waste and harmful microbes abound.
- They suck – when flood waters cover storm drains or sink holes, powerful whirlpools can form that may not be visible from above. They can pull you under and won’t let you go.
If you’re forced to walk in flood water (standing water only – never step into moving water unless you’ve got a rope attached and you’re with a fireman/EMT/etc.), then take all precautions. Be sure to wash off all areas of your skin that came in contact with the water. And get out of it the first chance you get.