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 it is the least hazardous to your health. But, if it is 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, it can quickly turn into a dangerous situation.
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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 tank malfunctioning 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, you should have 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
Flood waters are considered “black water,” which carries the biggest risk for illness or death. Many times, wading through floodwaters is necessary to reach safety. But if it can be avoided, it should be! Sometimes it can even be tempting to play in flood waters if there is water sitting in a place it usually isn’t. But no matter where or who you are, you should avoid contact with flood waters if possible! Some of the risks involve:
- Creature features – there can be 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 are standing in.
- 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 will not let you go.
If you are 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.
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