Sewage Cleanup – All You Need to Know

What do sewage clean up companies do?

sewage clean up

A sewer backup should be urgently handled since the water likely contains dangerous bacteria, microbes, or other serious illnesses. For everything you need to know about sewage backup cleanup, see our tips below to determine when to DIY the cleanup or when it’s time to call a professional and what you should expect from them. A sewage backup is one of the most serious plumbing problems with regard to the health of you and your family. 

What to do after a sewage backup or spill?

A sewage leak can be caused by a simple overflowed toilet, from a sewer or drain backup or overflowed septic tank. A sewage leak can be extremely unpleasant and inconvenient, as well as very dangerous. It brings a number of sanitation issues and health hazards. A sewage backup needs to be dealt with quickly to minimize damage to your home and dangers to your health. 

If the damage is confined to a small area and has just occurred, you may be able to handle the clean up yourself. But as a rule, sewage leaks should be treated as an emergency and are often best left, for safety reasons, to a professional for handling. 

Your first step is to make that determination and then start taking the steps below to protect your property, prevent further damage, and protect yourself and your family. 

  • Confirm it is safe to enter the house.
  • For safety reasons, immediately turn off the water supply and electrical power if there is a danger of wet electrical elements or wiring. SAFETY FIRST- If the panel or water valve or submerged call a professional immediately and do not enter the area. 
  • Any children, older people, or people with weak immune systems or health challenges should be removed from the area. 
  • Open any windows and doors to provide ventilation
  • Remove anything in danger of becoming wet or contaminated.
  • The lift he drapes from the floor
  • Add a small amount of bleach to standing water. 
  • Take photos for your insurance company
  • Contact your insurance company.
  • Contact a professional water damage restoration company, plumber, and or septic system company.

When do I need to call a professional sewage cleanup company?

Sewer clean up can be very unpleasant, and often requires special equipment and special training. It can also be dangerous. We highly recommend a professional cleaner unless the spill is extremely minor and extremely recent. Any major spill or system backup requires the help of a professional.

Water damage is classified based upon the source of the water. 

  • Category 1 or “clean water” comes from a clean water source such as a leaking faucet or broken water line. 
  • Category 2 or “gray water” is contaminated and comes from sources such as a washing machine or “clean” toilet overflow, or dishwasher overflow. This water may contain bacteria and viruses and should be considered hazardous. 
  • Category 3 is the most dangerous. It is severely contaminated and could cause serious illness. The source is flooding, water from behind the toilet trap, form a “dirty” toilet, or sewage backup.  This is hazardous and should be considered as such. 

If you are dealing with a sewer backup you should call in a professional. Only if the spill is very limited, contained, and recent should you attempt the sewer clean up yourself. And you should take proper precautions to protect yourself and your family. 

If the spill was caused by a septic tank or sewer backup, is affecting more than one room, occurred more than a few hours ago, or may have contaminated your air conditioning system you should call a professional immediately. If you have someone in the home with compromised health, call water damage or sewage cleanup professional immediately. 

Health risks of sewage backups

Sewer water contains contaminants, viruses, and bacteria, and often chemicals, and so can be extremely hazardous and should be treated as hazardous waste. It can spread illness and disease to the human residents as well as the pets!

The bacteria in human waste such as E. coli can cause sickness. Other bacterias such as Salmonella, Acanthamoeba, or Leptospirosis can cause vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, throat, nose, and eye infections or headaches.

Avoid coming in contact with the water or anything that has been contaminated. Even breathing sewage can be harmful. Sewage also contains hydrogen sulfide and prolonged exposure to sewer gas can lead to sinus problems, pneumonia, headaches, and other symptoms.

Water damage and sewage cleanup process 

A water damage restoration company or professional sewage cleanup service will have the training, products and equipment to safely and quickly restore your property and remove any evidence of sewage spill or water damage. Their job is to manage all aspects of the sewage backup cleanup of your home.

The cleanup plan will depend upon your specific sewage spill situation, but here are their general responsibilities.

  • Safely remove any standing water and waste.
  • Clean and sanitize the entire area.
  • Use professional equipment such as air movers, dehumidifiers, and dryers to ventilate and dry the area.
  • Do any repairs or water damage restoration required such as cleaning carpets, repairing drywall, or ceilings.
  • Remove any wet or contaminated materials and dispose of them safely.
  • Take any steps necessary to remove mold and mold damage and prevent mold in the future.

Sewage DIY Cleanup 

If your job is small and contained enough for you to take on, here are some steps to help you manage this safely and quickly.

  • Always wear protective gear including rubber gloves, eye protection, rubber boots or shoe covers, and a facemask. Wear long sleeves and pants to avoid skin contact with the contaminants.
  • Close off the affected area to contain the damage.
  • Remove any sewage water immediately. This may require a wet vac pump. They can be rented.
  • Place any debris in reinforced trash bags and remove them.
  • Open windows, run fans, and dehumidifiers to dry the area.
  • Look for any evidence of mold growth. It can grow within 24 hours.
  • Remove anything that has been contaminated, – rugs, furniture, books, and papers, etc and clean with antiseptic or dispose of as appropriate.
  • Upholstered furniture can be professionally cleaned.
  • Wash all mildly contaminated items that can be machine washed, adding a cup of chlorine bleach to the water.
  • Call professionals to check any wiring or appliances that may have been in contact with water.

Where do I find professionals for sewage cleanup? 

How much does sewage cleanup cost?

Sewage cleanup costs vary depending upon your location and your specific sewage issue. A range is $2000 – $10000 but always get a price in writing before starting your project.

Will my homeowners insurance cover sewer cleanup? 

Sewage backups or clogs are generally not covered under homeowner’s insurance. You can purchase sewer line insurance but even then, only the water damage is usually covered.

A sewer backup can lead to more damage to your property, especially if it is left unattended. The mold and bacteria can grow and spread throughout your home. Left unattended, the sewage water and contamination can spread, and the cleanup becomes even more difficult. Repair may include your sewer line, and other water damage on our floors, walls, and ceilings