Understanding Categories of Water to Properly Remediate Damaged Structures

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Source: Clark Seif Clark Inc.

The professionals at Clark Seif Clark (CSC) provide consulting and testing services to ensure building occupants are not exposed to health hazards.

Chatsworth, CA, July 2nd, 2013 -- In June, a sewage problem at the Coliseum forced the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners out of their locker rooms after sewage was reported to have flooded the facilities.  Sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) like this happen every day and can cause extensive damage, costly remediation and create potential health hazards.  

Water can enter a building in many ways.  Local flooding, leaking roofs and broken plumbing are all potential water sources that can cause damage to belongings and possible structural damage.  Depending on the circumstances and the type of water involved, it may also create potential indoor environmental and indoor air quality concerns. 

One company that has been at the forefront of helping people to respond to flooding events is Clark Seif Clark.  “It’s important for people to understand what type of water has entered a structure so that it can be properly remediated and appropriate measures can be taken to protect workers and building occupants from any potential hazards,” reported Franco Seif, President of Clark Seif Clark.  “Depending on the water source and possibly the length of time it remains in a building, it may contain bacteria, viruses, mold, chemicals, protozoa and even parasites.”

 

There are three categories of water that are typically used when classifying a water damage or flooding event.  They include:

 

  • Category 1 Water, also known as Clean Water, does not typically result in an immediate health threat to building occupants.  This type of water is considered clean at its point of release. Examples include broken water supply lines and the overflow of a sink or tub.  Even in properties with this type of initial water damage, mold can begin to grow in as short as 24 hours.  It may also become increasingly contaminated over time and as it interacts with materials in the property.

 

  • Category 2 Water, also known as Grey Water, typically contains a significant amount of biological or physical contaminants that can cause sickness when humans are exposed or if it is accidently consumed.  Examples include water discharged from a dishwasher or washing machine. Category 2 Water, that is not promptly removed or has remained stagnant for some time, may at times be reclassified as Category 3 Water.   

 

  • Category 3 Water, also known as Black Water, is grossly contaminated. It may contain harmful pathogens, microbes and chemicals that could cause illness. Sources include sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water.

 

Clark Seif Clark recently sponsored an online video about categories of water in flooded buildings that can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7sJXY5z4AM

 

To learn more about how CSC can help following a flood with indoor air quality (IAQ), mold and other environmental issues, please visit http://www.csceng.com, email csc@csceng.com or call (800) 807-1118. 

 

About Clark Seif Clark

CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address environmental, IAQ, and health and safety (EH&S) issues.  CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.

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