How Dangerous is a Sewage Leak?

Sewage Damage Repair Ventura County, Sewage Damage Ventura CountyAlthough water damage originates from many sources, the worst is caused by a sewer backup. Referred to as “black” water due to its unsanitary origin, this disaster can be potentially infectious to humans and contain harmful viruses and bacteria. Special handling and clean-up is required to prevent infection and the spread of disease, and should always be cleaned up as soon as possible by a professionally trained team.

Potential Diseases

The horrible smell is the least of your problems. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, many contagions can be spread via sewage-contaminated water. Several of them cause “stomach flu” like symptoms such as Viral Gastroenteritis,  Salmonella,  Cryptosporidiosis (also known as “Crypto”), and E. Coli. While some people exhibit light symptoms, most experience diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and fever. This illness can be severe for infants, young children, and those who are disabled, elderly, or immunocompromised; they might not drink enough fluids to replace what they lose through vomiting or diarrhea.

Some other diseases that you might not have considered here in Ventura Country are two acute viral diseases (St. Louis Encephalitis and West Nile Virus Encephalitis) that are transmitted via the bite of infected mosquitoes which prefer to lay their eggs in heavily polluted water.  Even the dangerous typhoid fever and the contagious liver disease  “Hepatitis A” can be spread in a sewage spill.

Stay Safe

For you to be safe around the home until help arrives, consider:

  • Wearing rubber gloves, eye protection, rubber boots, impervious coveralls
  • Do not directly touch sewage-contaminated materials such as carpets, clothing, furniture- bare skin contact could cause a serious infection
  • Take extra care that eyes, open cuts or sores or similar high-risk areas do not come in contact with sewage
  • Effective hand washing requires plenty of soap and at least 30 seconds of active scrubbing.
  • Ensure that your vaccinations are up to date for tetanus and diphtheria.
  • Do not eat, drink, apply lip balm or lipstick (!) and do not chew gum while working around sewage cleanup

You should assume that any surface or material touched by sewage is contaminated. Unless you are wearing appropriate safety gear, do not enter confined spaces that have been contaminated with sewage. Toxic, flammable or asphyxiating or even explosive gases including methane and hydrogen sulfide, as well as airborne pathogens, may be present.

Get Help

When you have a disaster at your home, engage a reputable contractor.  In addition to invaluable knowledge and large-scale equipment to handle the contamination, other great reasons to hire a professional water restoration company like ASR Construction include :

  • If the building HVAC system (air conditioning, forced warm air heating system) has been contaminated
  • If you or building occupants are people at extra risk: asthmatic, elderly, compromised immune system, or infants.

To prevent cross-contamination, measures must be taken to assure that sewage exposed soil is not tracked to other building spaces. For example, professional teams will quickly seal off open doorways with plastic and protect HVAC air intake registers. Negative air (fans blowing out through one or more windows) might even be used to keep air pressure in the contaminated area lower than in the rest of the building. Preventing sewage-contaminated dust from being blown to other building areas must be a top priority.

Demolition and removal of wastewater-contaminated materials including drywall, carpeting, carpet padding, paneling, building insulation must be done quickly and safely. Working quickly to remove any standing water, to dry the structure, and to remove contaminated materials is the best defense against contamination.

Professional Sewage Damage Cleanup

All Seasons Restoration provides a qualified and experienced team that can respond quickly at 805-256-1090. ASR Construction is Ventura County’s Largest Restoration Company specializing in water damage, fire damage, sewage clean-up, smoke-odor removal and mold remediation. They have the manpower to handle losses of any size. With more than 60 full-time employees, within sixty minutes they can have 30 highly trained and certified ASR employees onsite to stop the property from further damage, to restore your property and to preserve your health.

All Seasons Restoration is centrally located in Oxnard and responds immediately to Goleta, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Camarillo, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, Malibu and surrounding areas.