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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

The Three Categories of Water Contamination and What To Do About Each One

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle It's important to know the difference between the three types of water contamination

Three Types of Water Contamination

Did the toilet overflow? Has a pipe burst in the home? Situations like these create not only a mess but also exposure to contaminated water. Homeowners in San Antonio, TX, should tend to the flooding quickly, avoiding additional harm to the property. It's not enough to dry up the moisture. Much like treating your own health issues, it's best to know the cause and how to properly treat the concerns. Understanding which water entered the premises should assist in creating the proper cleanup treatment; therefore, it's important to know the difference between the three types of water contamination.


Category 1
Not all water in the home is clean. Several lines such as the sewer system house the used fluid. Known as black water, it contains high levels of chemicals and bacteria. Be extremely cautious with toilet backups. A blockage could be pushing the flow back into the home. In addition, external exposure from floods falls into this section. Rising waters from streams and water bring a host of microbes, allowing microscopic organisms to penetrate into porous materials.
When this occurs, contact a water remediation company to evaluate the premises and complete the following actions:

  • Inspect the amount of devastation
  • Tear out polluted materials
  • Extract excess humidity
  • Perform content cleaning services


Category 2
This contaminated water is labeled gray water and has lower levels of bacteria. Appliances such as the washing machine and dishwasher clean the grit out of your belongings. The water may have particles from food or bacteria. Evaluations should still happen here. It's best to see how far the dampness progressed. Sometimes that isn't as visible. Moisture readings may help with this, revealing what must be taken away.


Category 3
A clean supply line break releases water, but it does not house microbial particles. It should be dried up and treated. If left unattended, the moisture settles in, activating spores and progressing to category 2 or 3 conditions.
Consider the event and if you have contaminated water. Then, seek specialists to aid in recovery.

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