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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Black Water 101: 4 Situations in Which You Need To Treat Flood Waters as a Health Hazard

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Black Water 101: 4 Situations in Which You Need To Treat Flood Waters as a Health Hazard Contact SERVPRO when dealing with black water.

Flood Waters often Considered Black Water

If your business in Cookeville, TN, has recently experienced any flooding, you are likely already worried about the damage the water has caused to your building. However, you also need to be concerned about the safety of the water itself since flood water is often considered black water. This label is used to categorize contaminated water that poses a serious health hazard to anyone who comes into contact with it. If the flood was caused by any of the four following situations, get help immediately.

1. Sewage Leak

Sewage leaks due to issues with a septic tank or a burst sewer main can quickly lead to a flooding and needs to be addressed immediately by a storm damage restoration specialist. It is important that the building is immediately evacuated and that any items contaminated by the water are not touched.

2. Toilet Backup

A toilet that is clogged or experiencing a backup can overflow and flood the bathroom before anyone is aware of what happened. Although you likely will be fine cleaning a small overflow yourself, a large-scale backup can post a health hazard. It is important to keep all customers and staff outside of the affected area.

3. Flooding From Outside

If flood water from outside, including water from overflowing rivers or streams, enter your building, you need to assume it is contaminated water. This is true even if you don’t know the source of the water or don’t identify any visible sewage.

4. Stagnant Water

If flooding occurs with your business, it can become black water if not quickly addressed. Water that stands in one place for an extended period of time can harbor harmful bacteria and become a serious health threat.

Although you might be eager to retrieve your items or enter your building to examine the damage, you will need to wait if you suspect the flood water might be contaminated. Remember to always leave the area and contact a professional when dealing with black water!

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