How To Respond to Contaminated Water
Is it safe for you to clean up sewage water that overflowed from your toilet? The Environmental Protection Agency, otherwise known as the EPA, defines contaminated water as containing anything other than water molecules. Contaminants may come in several forms.
- Physical, such as dirt
- Chemical, including chlorine
- Biological, examples include bacteria and viruses
- Radiological, or chemical elements with unbalanced protons and neutrons
When it comes to the water in your home, the level of contamination is defined by three categories.
- Category 1: Relatively clean water
- Category 2: Significantly contaminated
- Category 3: Resulting from sewer or outside floods
Categories 2 and 3 are also known as "grey water" and "black water."
Category 1 Water
This category refers to water that is basically clean. It doesn't pose health threats to humans, but you may not want to drink it. This water may come from a broken water supply line or an overflowing bathtub. You can feel comfortable mopping this up with cleaning equipment you have at home.
Category 2 Water
Water in this category has a significant amount of contamination. When humans drink this water or are exposed to it, they may become uncomfortably sick. Contaminated water with this designation may come from a toilet with urine, but no feces, or come as discharge from a washing machine.
Category 3 Water
Black water is the most dangerous. It generally contains high levels of contamination. Many types of bacteria and fungi could leave humans with severe illnesses. The water in this category may come from sewage, ground surface water, backed-up toilets, or flooding from rivers, lakes, or oceans.
The way you respond to contaminated water in your home could affect your well-being and that of your home. If you experience a sewer backup or flooding from external sources, you should always contact a sewage cleanup and restoration professional. These trained technicians have the equipment and education to safely clean away harmful contaminants from Thornton, CO, homes.