Types of contaminated water

How to deal with different types of contaminated water in your property.

Water damage can be a devastating and dangerous experience for any homeowner, whether confined to the basement or dispersed throughout the entire home.

To stay safe, it is vital to understand the different types of contaminated water and how each type may affect your and your family’s health.

Learn more about the effects of contaminated water and what steps you can take to protect your home and family with this guide from the professionals at ServiceMaster Restore UK.

What is contaminated water?

According to Environment Law, water can be contaminated by:

  • Agricultural pollution
  • Sewage and wastewater
  • Oil pollution
  • Radioactive substances
  • River and marine dumping

What threats does contaminated water pose?

Contaminated water poses a serious threat to your health and property.

After water damage, using the proper methods to clean and disinfect every area of your home is essential.

Since water damage can come from a variety of sources, the corresponding clean-up procedures and safety protocols that are used will vary.

For example, restoring a home affected by damage caused by a broken pipe or overflowing sink will differ from dealing with a home impacted by severe flood damage.

The types

From roof leaks to severe flooding, water damage is a common and potentially destructive issue many homeowners face.

There are three main types of water damage:

Category 1 – Clean water

Water damage from a Category 1 classification comes from clean and sanitary sources like:

  • Broken water supply lines
  • Bathtubs or
  • Sink overflows

Although Category 1 water is generally harmless to humans and pets, it can still cause a potential risk to your home.

If left untreated, Category 1 water may cause toxic mould growth in as little as 24 to 48 hours.

Mould can cause a significant amount of damage to the structure of your home, your health and your belongings.

Category 2 – Grey Water

Category 2 water contamination contains chemical, biological and physical contaminants.

This type of water has not come into contact with faecal matter.

However, Category 2 water may contain other contaminants that could induce illness if ingested.

If not removed, Category 2 water can be re-classified into Category 3 in as little as 48 hours.

Category 3 – Black Water

This is the most unsanitary type of water and the most dangerous classification of water contamination.

It comes from raw sewage or natural disasters such as floods.

This water contamination is a breeding ground for bacteria, pathogens, harmful chemicals and disease-causing organisms.

Category 3 water contamination is dangerous and destructive.

Due to the unsanitary conditions of the water, porous materials like drywall, upholstery and carpets are completely unsalvageable.

Risks to your home

If you have contaminated water in your home, clean-up and restoration should happen immediately to save as much as possible.

Unfortunately, most items touched by Category 3 water must be removed.

This is due to any harmful bacteria that may have come into contact.

Protect your home against contaminated water damage

From a burst pipe to extreme weather conditions, we’ll deal with flood & water damage quickly and effectively, 24/7, 365 days a year.

By sorting the incident quickly, we’ll minimise any disruption to your business and keep the damage low, saving you time, money and hassle in the long run.

We also carry out leak detection services, to help you spot and prevent water damage before it happens.

To learn more about how we can help restore your property, call us direct on 0845 762 6828 or find your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business today.