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Sewage‌ ‌Spill‌ ‌Cleanup‌


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Sewage spills can happen in any home with a sewer system installed. It could be a small or large spill. Small spills typically happen in kitchens or bathrooms. If a major spill occurs, you have to seek an expert’s help.  Sewage is a natural carrier of infections and diseases. You should therefore get rid of it very fast. 

Professional help should be sought after if;

  • There is a sewage flood in multiple rooms
  • A spill is caused by septic tank or sewer backup
  • You have concerns about your health and your family members
  • The spill occurred more than 24 hours ago

Sewage Spills and Water Types

Sewage spills happen when the septic tank in your home is backed up, the toilet overflows or you have sewer system issues. The spills can consist of gray water or black water. Both of these are wastewaters. 

Blackwater refers to the water released from the toilets, dishwashers, and kitchen sinks. The water contains diseases causing pathogens and harmful bacteria. It is difficult to clean and reuse such water. 

Gray water is the water that typically comes from showers, washing machines, and bathroom sinks. Such water can be filtered to be cleaned and reused. 

How to Clean Up a Small Sewage Spill

Deciding on the time to start cleaning after the spill is crucial. Starting early will ensure there is no foul smell that is hard to remove from your home. Also, you will prevent the spread of bacteria that may make your family sick. Here is a process of how to do it yourself; 

  • 1st Step- Open all the windows to allow fresh air into the house
  • 2nd Step- The solids should be shoveled up. Using plastic bags and buckets is also a good option. 
  • 3rd Step- Using a small pail to scoop the liquids
  • 4th Step- The remaining liquids should be soaked up using rags or paper towels. Throw the rags away after use. 
  • 5th Step- Vacuum the wet/dry puddles left on the floor
  • 6th Step-  Put curtains, rags, furniture, or any other wet items outside
  • 7TH Step- The area should be scrubbed using a 1:1 solution of water and bleach.

You should consider starting the clean-up if you conclude that it is a small spill. Minor spills are confined to a single area of your home. Decontamination using disinfectants is also important to reduce health risks. 

You can do a few things to help reduce the chances of health complications during a sewage spill. Try contacting your insurance company first to see what the policy covers.

Ask people to leave the building with the elderly given priority. Those with compromised immune systems and asthma should also be given priority. The pets and people should stay outside until the building is cleaned and disinfected. 

What are Some of the Protective Equipment to Wear?

If it is a minor spill and you are doing it yourself, make sure you use protective equipment. Never try tackling a sewage spill without using personal protective equipment first. Here are some protective equipment with other necessary tools;

  • Eye protection
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Boots
  • Bucket
  • Shovel
  • Coveralls
  • Heavy Plastic Bags
  • Disinfectant solution

Professional Sewage Spill Cleanup

Regardless of the amount, any sewage spill poses a great risk to your health. You should act fast to contain the spill. Usually, professional sewage services are sought after when there is a large spill. They have the necessary tools to clean up and disinfect the building. 

The upholstery and carpets can be cleaned by professionals. However, if the spills sink deep into the carpets and drywall, they have to be replaced. If you work with experts, the risk of further damage is reduced. The specialist you hire depends on the nature of damage and spill. There are septic experts and cleanup specialists as well. 

What are Causes of Sewage Spills and Backups

A sewage spill occurs if your home’s sewer connection to the city’s sewer system is blocked. The blockage may come as a result of several things. Here are some of them;

  1. Overloaded Sewage System

Do you notice a sewer backup in your basement or some flooding? This may result from combined pipelines; this is where your sewage water and stormwater share the same pipe. This type of pipe system puts you at great risk of overloaded pipelines. After heavy rains, sewage lines can also overload.

  1. Aging Sewer System

Aging sewer systems are always a ticking time bomb. The increase in population builds pressure on the sewage line. Thus, there is a need to improve the infrastructure with an increase in population. More sewer backups and spills are bound to occur with the aging of the sewer lines. 

  1. Compromised Sewage Lines

Trees can find their way into sewer lines and end up breaking the pipes. This is because of the nutrients and oxygen found in the pipes. You can avoid this problem by determining the path your sewer line will follow before planting the trees. Also, if your city’s sewage line has a blockage, it compromises your home’s sewage lines.

You should embrace the use of a professional restoration company. The company will have all the necessary tools and skills too vital for sewage cleanup. 

Southern California Restoration

The Southern California Restoration content team is made up of multiple contributors, writers, and editors. We are your resource hub for anything related to water damage, mold and restoration needs that you may be challenged with facing.