-Storms don’t necessarily cause sewage spills, but in some cases, can contribute to sewage backup, increasing the chances of exposure to blackwater. The water damage remediation professionals from SERVPRO of Pismo Beach / Arroyo Grande have some tips to help residents in storm-stricken areas avoid this kind of exposure.
Blackwater is a term used to describe wastewater from contaminated sources, including sewage. Water from a contaminated source can carry any number of hazardous substances. In the case of sewage, blackwater carries bacteria and pathogens that can pollute the environment, including drinking water, and potentially causes health hazards.
Before, during, and after a storm, it’s important to continue listening to local emergency broadcasts and stay informed about emergency situations, including flooding, power lines down, and road closures. Other information that might be broadcast if appropriate includes drinking water safety, hazardous waste, and sewage spills.
In the event there is a suspected sewage spill in the neighborhood, notify the appropriate agency right away. It’s better to report something already known than to wait. Don’t try to analyze the water to determine whether or not it is contaminated. Rely on local authorities to do that. The Pismo Beach water damage professionals report that the signs of a sewage leak or spill include:
- Visible fecal material.
- Damp ground or water around a leaking or broken sewage pipe, or near a septic tank.
- Sewage smell in a specific area.
- Wet, damp, or moldy areas under buildings where sewage pipes may be leaking.
If you suspect a sewage leak or backup close off the area to prevent entry and report it. Local emergency services usually have resources available to protect communities from exposure to blackwater
The health and safety of every member of the community are important and the local SERVPRO serving Pismo Beach and the Central Coast is providing the following guidelines to help reduce personal and property exposure to contaminants from blackwater.
- Turn off the electricity, water and gas connections.
- Report the problem, clear the affected area and close it off if possible.
- If it’s necessary to enter the area, wear rubber boots, gloves, and a mask.
- Stop up all drain openings using plugs and hard solid material.
- Plug toilets with wadded rags.
- Turn off heating and air conditioning systems and block any floor vents to prevent the flow from reaching them.
- Don’t touch or attempt to move anything in the affected area, this includes attempting to clean anything.
- Bathe everyone and all pets that have been in contact with contaminated water as soon as possible. Use a mask, eye protection, and gloves when assisting with bathing.
- Place any contaminated clothing in plastic bags, mark the bags as hazardous, and seal them. Dispose of the bags according to local hazardous waste policies.
Regional emergency services issue precautions to help communities avoid contaminated water after a major disaster. But, when the emergency is over and the time comes for repairs to your property, call the Pismo Beach water damage team. Contact SERVPRO as soon as possible to get water removal, decontamination, and repairs started.
Water is particularly invasive. It spreads quickly and is easily absorbed by floors, walls, furniture, and anything else it comes into contact with. SERVPRO of Pismo Beach / Arroyo Grande arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately.
Using advanced industrial pumps, drying fans, and state-of-the-art processes, water and moisture are removed, the affected areas completely dried, the property dried and restored, and repairs completed. SERVPRO works with all the major insurance companies and the team even helps process and monitor insurance claims.
SERVPRO of Pismo Beach / Arroyo Grande
1131 Pike Lane Suite 9
Oceano, CA 93445