-The average person rarely has to deal with black water, which is water that is contaminated with sewage and other pathogens and dangerous substances. When black water gets into a building, it can contaminate floors, walls, even furnishings and personal property and the water damage team from SERVPRO of Pismo Beach/Arroyo Grande has prepared a list of things to do when black water is present.
Some common causes of black water are severe storms or earthquakes that damage sewer systems allowing sewage into public areas or a neglected sewage system that backs up into a building or into public places.
A toilet that clogs and overflows once in a while isn’t necessarily a black water problem. Toilets that have been leaking, undetected, for a long time or one that backs up and overflows routinely can be a problem. A frequently overflowing toilet can be a warning of a more serious problem.
Standing water in certain areas can indicate a problem for people on septic systems. Leach fields age even with the best of care. When a leach field is no longer able to percolate the excess from the septic tank, the septic tank doesn’t flow into the leach field and the extra sewage starts pooling on the surface. This is black water and the septic system needs immediate attention. A faulty septic system can cause sewage to back up into the house.
Black water contains contaminants that can cause people and animals to get sick and develop diseases. Surface black water can also seep into the ground water or flow into nearby streams and pollute drinking water.
In the event of a natural disaster there are disaster recovery programs that usually help protect communities. Local agencies that oversee public sewer systems are usually quick to step up if there is a sewer system failure. However, there is not always public assistance available for damage to residential and commercial property and this is where the water damage company serving Pismo Beach comes into play.
Determining the presence of black water is the job for professionals. Anyone who observes any of the following must take precautionary steps:
- Any wet area from an overflow, a leaking or broken sewage pipe, or near a septic tank
- Sewage smell in a specific area
- Visible fecal material in a wet area
- Wet, damp, or moldy areas under the house where pipes may be leaking
The precautionary steps are:
- Get everyone, including pets, out of the area. If possible, close off the area.
- If you must enter the area wear rubber boots, gloves and a mask.
- Turn off the power and water connections.
- If possible, without exposing yourself, stop up all drain openings using plugs or solid material to prevent backup. Plug the toilet with wadded rags. Block floor vents to prevent water from flowing into the HVAC system.
- Don’t touch or attempt to remove anything from the contaminated area.
- As soon as possible, shower or bathe everyone and all pets that have come in contract with contaminated water. Place the clothing they were wearing in plastic bags.
The water damage company serving Pismo Beach is available 24 hours for any emergency. Assessing and repairing water damage and the mold that may result are specialties for SERVPRO of Pismo Beach/Arroyo Grande. Call SERVPRO as soon as possible. The quicker the decontamination, water extraction, drying and restoration process starts, the sooner the sooner life gets back to normal.
SERVPRO of Pismo Beach/Arroyo Grande
1131 Pike Lane Suite 9
Oceano, CA 93445