The Three Types of Contaminated Water
Category 1: "Clean Water"
Category 1 water is from a clean source and does not post and immediate health threat. Clean water home floods are generally safe for you to clean up yourself but remember--time is an important factor. Standing clean water can become greywater in as little as 48 hours depending on the temperature and surrounding contaminants. Another thing to keep in mind is mol growth, although clean water can be mopped/wiped up, it’s best to contact a professional to dry out the area the prevent mold growth and attempt to restore any damaged items.
Clean water flood sources:
- Broken water line
- Malfunctioning appliances
- Toilet holding tanks
- Melting snow and rainwater
- Broken or leaking pipe
- Sink overflow
- Ice maker supply line
Category 2: "Grey Water"
Category 2 water refers to wastewater that is not contaminated with fecal matter yet is still contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. If you experience a home flood with greywater, be cautious when beginning the cleaning process and begin immediately as greywater can become blackwater in as little as 48 hours. Wear protective gear such as rubber boots and gloves, and keep children, pets and individuals with a compromised immune system away from the flooded are. It is advisable to hire a professional to safely clean and decontaminate when there is greywater, as it may contain harmful bacteria and viruses.
Grey water flood sources:
- Sink back up
- Sump pump
- Roof leak
- Leaking air conditioner
- Washing machines, dishwasher, water heaters
- Toilet with urine but no feces
Category 3: "Black Water"
Category 3 water refers to wastewater contaminated with human waste or other fecal matter, and could cause severe illness or death if ingested; any contact should be avoided. Blackwater is a haven for dangerous bacteria and pathogens. It can also be contaminated with dissolved chemicals and particulates, making contact even more dangerous. Blackwater floods are the most dangerous and the most destructive. Because of the grossly unsanitary conditions of the water, porous and absorbent items such as carpets, upholstery and drywall are often unsalvageable. Contact with blackwater via ingestion or skin contact can cause illness in both humans and pets.
It is highly advisable to contact a water restoration expert if you suspect blackwater before you begin attempting to remedy it yourself.
Black water flood sources:
- May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
- Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
- Foundation problem
- Gutter problems
- Toilet Bowl overflow
- Sewer back-up
- Water damage that sat over 3 days
- Standing Water that has begun to support microbial growth
Sewage cleanup must not be taken lightly. Serious long-term health issues to adults, children and even pets may occur due to bacteria, viruses and even parasites. Don't delay. Take immediate action. Call SERVPRO® of Ajax at (289) 460-5124 today for a free estimate.