Clean Earth Restorations Blog: We Rebuild and Repair

Sewage Cleanup | Do It Myself or Call a Professional?

Posted by Cindy Desmet on Wed, Dec 04, 2013

What is the WORST thing you can imagine happening to your plumbing during a busy holiday season? Sewage spill, right? It's a home- or business-owner's nightmare. Besides the obvious necessity to stop the source of the spill and cordon off the area to visitors, the next question is "can I handle the cleanup myself or should I call a professional?". Clean Earth Restorations is a San Diego based sewage remediation company and we've put together a few questions and answers regarding sewage clean up for you.

Is it safe to clean up a sewage spill by myself (without professional intervention)?

The answer to this will depend on the size of the spill, the type of the spill, and how long the spilled sewage has come into contact with materials in your home or business.

A major amount of spillage, a spill with a high concentration of solids/human waste, and a spill that has infiltrated a lot of porous materials can be major health risks and may require professional help.

Why should I call on a professional rather than clean it up myself?

For one thing, your insurance might cover it. Many insurance companies include flood remediation in their coverage. Why get your hands in the muck when you can have someone do it for you?

Secondly, sewage has bacteria, germs and viruses that can make you sick. You want to minimize your contact with them during the clean up process, as well as make sure that the property has been properly disinfected.

Other conditions may prompt you to call in a professional -- such as when sewage has entered conduits for central heating or air conditioning (where germs can grow then be sent to other parts of the building).

Can I get sick from a sewage spill?

If the sewage cleanup is not handled properly, you may experience gastrointestinal illness or skin rashes due to bacterial contamination from human waste. This problem would generally stem from improperly washed hands or from contaminated food preparation areas.

Airborn illnesses are not usually a problem in residential sewage spills.

What precautions should I take if I do the clean up myself?

If you decide you are going to clean up a sewage spill on your own, take these precautions:

  1. Turn off the power if there is standing water and the risk of electrocution.
  2. Wear rubber gloves, rubber boots and protective goggles when cleaning, or removing contaminated materials. Never pick up sewage with bare hands (not that anyone really needs reminding of that!)
  3. Cover any cuts or scrapes. Wash them immediately if they come into contact with the spill.
  4. Wash your hands well with antibacterial soap after you are done. 

If you are unsure of how to handle a sewage spill, give us a call (888) 471-6653 or contact us for a free estimate on taking care of it for you:

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Topics: tips, Sewage

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