If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (262) 895-5540

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

This Is How Floodwater Is Classified | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

This Is How Floodwater Is Classified | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog

Not all water that causes water damage is created equal. There are three different classifications: clean water, gray water and black water. Understanding the differences in these types of water will help you understand how to better handle a water damage situation.

Whatever type of water is involved, there will always be the tedious chore of a cleanup and restoration process afterward. The first and most important step to take is removing all of the moisture and damp items quickly to inhibit the growth of mold—since a wet environment is the perfect environment for mold.

Clean Water

The name clearly defines clean water. This water is free of contaminants and not the type that will pose an immediate threat to your health. It can come from:

  • Broken water lines
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Toilet holding tanks
  • Snow melt and rainwater

Cleanup in a clean water situation is the easiest to deal with since there are fewer microbes living in the water. However, after 48 hours and after contact with building surfaces, clean water can transform into gray water.

Gray Water

Gray water makes water damage cleanup and restoration a bit more complicated. This is water that may pose a health risk since it will contain slight amounts of chemical or biological contamination. The slight contamination in gray water means that it would need to be thoroughly treated before being safe for consumption.

Examples of gray water is water that comes from dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. Here, as well, the 48-hour exposure time applies because, if not treated, gray water turns into black water.

Black Water

Black water is the worst and most serious of the three classifications, and it is heavily contaminated by harmful chemicals and biological matter. This would include floodwaters containing soil and all sewage waters.

Sewage is laden with microbes, including bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungi and more—many of these can be hazardous to humans.

Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis
  • Gastroenteritis-type illnesses

Remember, when it comes to floods, play it safe and assume all waters are black water since it picks up contaminants along its path.

These classifications of floodwater are recognized by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification (IICRC), which is an organization that certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industry. Our technicians all study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.

It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin is here to help get the situation under control and make it "Like it never even happened." Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services!

Other News

View Recent Posts