Sewage backup, water intrusion, severe flooding and leaking sewer pipes or septic tanks could lead to contamination of occupied spaces. Exposure to sewage contamination (otherwise known as gray or black water) increases the risk of contracting diseases of the digestive system and other related illnesses. Potential disease causing organisms in sewage contamination include Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Shigella. To determine the potential health risks from sewage contamination, testing for disease causing microorganisms (pathogens) and bacteria such as total coliforms, fecal coliforms and Enterococcus is often necessary to determine the presence and extent of the resulting bacteria; as well as testing after the clean up/remediation to ensure the damaged area is safe to reoccupy.
AEG has the unique experience it takes to provide a combination of on-site sampling with immediate results and/or laboratory confirmation cultured samples (results 24 to 48 hours) of all areas impacted by black or gray water. After surfaces and areas are remediated, disinfected and deodorized, AEG will conduct a post remediation assessment to confirm the remediation activities were successful so that containment may be taken down and re-Construction can begin. Furthermore, AEG will write and submit a "Post Remediation Verification Report”.
What is the difference between Clean Water, Gray Water and Black Water contamination?
In the daily activities and chores where we use water, most of it is collected as wastewater. Same with water losses in a property. Wastewater is classified into three categories. Clean Water, Gray Water and Black Water. However, they all must be treated differently because of the different levels of contamination.
Category I Clean Water:
Clean water does not pose an immediate health threat. This applies to waters that do not contain contaminants and includes broken water lines, malfunctioning appliances, toilet holding tanks, snow melt and rainwater. However, over time, say within 48 hours, and especially after contact with building surfaces, clean water can progress to category two, Graywater.
Category II Gray Water:
Gray water includes discharges from dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, showers, aquariums and waterbeds. This may cause a health risk since the waters may contain chemical or biological contamination. Again time is of importance, after 48 hours in contact with building surfaces, most gray water should be reclassified as category three, Black water.
Category III Black Water:
Blackwater is wastewater from bathrooms and toilets, leaking or broken sewer pipes or septic tanks that contain fecal matter and urine. It also includes floodwaters containing soil and any sewage waters (also called brown water). Black water is a certain health risk. These waters are presumed to contain multiple and potentially harmful contaminants. It can carry disease causing bacteria that are harmful to man.