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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Why Is Flood Water Called Black Water?

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Sewer release wastewater into river Sewage ditches contain substances that aren't safe for human contact

You already know that flood water can causes headache and bring your business's daily operations to a grinding, damp halt. What you may not know is that water from flooding is commonly classified into three categories that reflect the level of hazard involved. Category 3 water, also known as "black water," is the most dangerous of the three.

What Is Category 3 Water?

Water that falls into Category 3 contains sewage and other substances that aren't safe for human contact, such as bacteria and other pathogens. These contaminants can originate in a variety of places:

  • Toilet backflow
  • A broken sewer main
  • Sewage ditches
  • Septic tank and sewage line seepage
  • Storm damage

Because of the hazards associated with contaminated flood water, its cleanup is best left to trained water remediation specialists.

What's the Difference Between Water Categories?

Category 3 water is the "dirtiest" water, hence the nickname. Category 2 water, known as gray water, also contains potentially hazardous materials, but they come from interior sources, such as a dishwasher or shower. Category 1 water is clean water.
There are additional subcategories within these categories themselves as well. For example, black water is sorted into three levels based on the severity of the flooding. Level 1 water includes minor floods confined to small areas, such as an overflowing toilet. Level 2 water also refers mainly to minor indoor floods, except that these floods cover more ground and hold the potential to cause more extensive damage because of their reach. The most severe incidents of water damage are considered Level 3. In these situations, contaminated water enters the building from the outside and can cause considerable destruction.
When flooding occurs at your commercial property in Lemay, MO, you may be tempted to clean up the premises yourself. Instead of risking exposure to contaminated flood water, call on the trained professionals from your local water remediation company to help.

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