Property Recovery 911 was summoned to a stately stone home in Darby, PA for a sewage cleanup job. The source of the sewage overflow was a toilet located in the finished basement powder room as well as a floor drain in the laundry room. Upon inspection, we discovered that the soil line serving the property was clogged, which is often the culprit when a sewage overflow occurs. In such an event, the location of the sewage overflow is the first drain or drains ‘north’ of the clog.
Clog and Sewage Overflow
The clogged sewer line caused continued spillage as wastewater, that could not pass the clog, was introduced to the system. The event worsened as the property’s occupants flushed, bathed, washed dishes and so on; with no inkling that the seldom used finished basement was taking on sewage contamination until laundry day.
As with any water event, a sewage overflow requires prompt attention to reduce the ongoing effects of water exposure, which will result in significant ancillary damages if left unchecked. Sewage contamination adds another facet to the multitude of possible dangers associated with structural flooding, with the introduction of pathogens in a liquid state. The primary biohazard present in a sewage spill are viruses, bacteria and parasites that can cause illness, disease and even death. The primary route of infection from a sewage spill is ingestion, so care should be taken not to make contact with sewage contamination unless properly trained and protected.
Drain Cleaning Before Sewage Cleanup
Prior to sewage cleanup, the drainage problem had to be corrected. We advised the homeowner to stop introducing water to the drainage system as this would exacerbate the problem. We then contacted Express Drains, the region’s premier drain cleaning experts, who arrived promptly and quickly cleared the blockage. For prompt, professional drain cleaning services, we find that Express Drains offers superior services executed by the most highly trained technicians in the industry, at reasonable rates.
Preparation for Sewage Cleanup
Once the drainage lines were flowing freely, the Property Recovery 911 rapid response sewage cleanup team donned the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and began the arduous process of cleaning and decontamination.Our foremost concern is the safety and wellbeing of our client(s) and workforce. We recommend that anyone not versed in sewage cleanup remain well clear of sewage spill as such events require intense training and significant protective equipment to safely remediate the threat.
Extent of the Sewage Overflow
Sewage contamination is defined as ‘Category 3 Water’ in the ANSI/IICRC S500, which is Standard for ‘Professional Water Damage Restoration’. Category 3 Water is grossly unsanitary and can contain disease-causing organisms and/or toxins. In this instance, sewage contaminated water flooded the laundry room via a central floor drain. Furthermore, liquid and solid waste laden with feces flowed over the basement powder room toilette lip and into the family room. The bathroom and family room both contained raised hardwood floors, which now held raw sewage trapped within the floor cavities. Our technicians IICRC training specifically requires that trapped category 3 water must be accessed and physically removed, necessitating that we remove the hardwood flooring to clean the floor cavities below.
Sewage Cleanup and Decontamination
Once we gained access to portions of the sewage overflow encased within floor and wall cavities by removing contaminated building materials, we mucked out the solid waste and extracted the liquid. All hazardous substances were carried from premises and properly discarded. Commercially available options abound for sewage cleanup and odor control, we are constantly monitoring the market as suppliers formulate more effective solutions to sewage decontamination and sanitization.
In this instance we began our restoration efforts by deploying a live bacterium that physically consumes the remaining sewage residue. Most bacteria we co-exist with are harmless to humans and in fact are engines of biodegradation, converting waste into carbon dioxide and water. This product, which was developed and is marketed by Rochester Midland Corporation safely and naturally digests odors and soils including fecal matter and urine, converting waste into carbon dioxide and water.
After the live bacteria have been time to devour any remaining sewage contamination, we applied an anti-microbial and wide spectrum disinfectant known as Benefect Botanical Disinfectant. Made from plant extracts, this product is virucidal, bactericidal, fungicidal safely kills over 99.99% of germs with no synthetic fragrances, dyes or bleach. Furthermore, this natural product has no cautions or warnings on the label or MSDS sheets.
Structural Drying After a Sewage Cleanup
Due to the high moisture levels documented and recorded, the area was contained then drying equipment was placed to arrest the ongoing effects of water damage. In this instance air movers were deployed to evaporate the surface water, dehumidification was added to extricate the ‘smart water’ from the cells of wood building materials in the form of water vapor and an air scrubber was added to protect the respiratory health of our customers. Following several days of structural drying with daily monitoring, we achieved a dry standard signaling the end of structural drying services.
Sewage Cleanup Services
Property Recovery 911 offers residential, commercial, municipal and industrial sewage cleanup services. In the event of a sewage overflow, contact us at (267) 808-7200, we have the experience to safely and professionally restore the site to pre-loss condition. Our specialists are on call 24/7/365 and can be on location any time of day to quickly and professionally resolve the issue. Furthermore, we deal with insurance company adjusters on your behalf to help secure coverage for sewage cleanup services.