Toilet and sewer pipe backups may result in sewage entering your basement or other parts of your home or business. This dark, thick water is highly hazardous and contains many dangerous contaminants. These contaminants are made up of pathogens, bacteria and viruses and present health risks and illness dangers if humans or animals become exposed. Finding a remedy to these problems ASAP is highly important, as is getting rid of the sewage from your premises. Having information of what may lead to sewer backups may help you prevent a hazardous condition in your home or basement. Please see this list of things that may aid in stopping sewage backups that could occur in your home or business:

Why Sewage Backup Occurs

  • Heavy Rainfall – Excess rains can overpower your town or city’s storm sewer mainlines. If this happens, the waste can back up into the attached sewer lines bringing your home or business in possible risk of water backflow. Rising rivers and streams, hurricanes and other relevant events can force flood and sewage waters to mix and present genuine health related problems. You should be extremely cautious when walking in this sort of water, and even stay vigilant after the water recedes and dries up. It’s probable for the organic matter to turn aerosolized and able to be inhaled, meaning there’s a chance you could inhale it into your lungs. To stop contact or risk of inhaling these contaminants, proper PPE should be used at all times.
  • Roots from Trees – Trees can have long roots that grow into water or sewer pipes and crush or break them. Damage to pipes and a sewage backup can also be caused by tree roots that aren’t even on your land. Be keenly aware of any tree roots that can sprawl into your water and sewer pipes that lead to the main sewer line or septic system.
  • Old/Aging Sewer Pipes – Older and aging sewage structures are susceptible to crumbling and cracking, causing sewer backups, sewer filled basements along with entire home flooding. The older your neighborhood or house may raise the threat of this type of damage occurring.
  • Clogged and Blocked Drain Pipes – If your house or business’s main sewer pipes or drain pipes become fouled, sewage may back up inside the dwelling. A perfect example is: if a single toilet causes a sewage backup, the drains connected to that toilet, or the main drain pipes of more toilets, will also suffer backflow flooding.
  • Old and/or Damaged Lines – Aging sewage systems have a propensity to fail and crack, leading to sewage backups and flooded homes or businesses full of sewage. If your home or neighborhood is older, the probability is greater that you’ll experience failing sewer lines than newer ones.
  • Copious Rainfall – Heavy and rapid rainfall can overpower your local storm sewer lines quickly. If these public sewer pipes can’t deal with excess waters, water can backup and progress into connected sewer lines. This can put your dwelling at risk of backflow problems. Area flood waters from events like rising rivers and creeks, hurricanes, or any similar weather events can cause clean water to merge with sewage water and other chemicals and contaminants that cause serious health difficulties. Use extreme caution when moving on foot in this type of waste, but also remain cautious when it dries. The dried organic matter can turn aerosolized and turn respirable. Correct PPE needs to be utilized at all times to prevent contact and risk inhaling tainted air.
  • Blocked/Clogged Pipes – A clogged pipe or sewer line can force sewage to back up into your home or business. If only one toilet becomes backed up, the sewage backup can spread into the sewer pipes and disturb all linked toilets on that line.
  • Roots from Trees – Tree roots can cause damage to water and sewer pipes. The roots from big trees can maneuver into and around the pipes and damage them tremendously. If the roots on your property are not the problem, roots from closely located trees can extend under property lines and ruin your sewer pipes, causing a sewage complication. Be extra aware of all tree roots near your mainline sewer pipes and/or pipes that run to your septic tank.

Our Charleston, SC process for sewage cleanup and sanitation

Our cleaning and remediation procedures for Category 3 water (which describes sewer and contaminated water backup) according to the standards put in place by the IICRC industry are:

1. To protect the safety of all occupants and personnel by restricting jobsite traffic to restoration and cleanup personnel only to help stop any health related occurrences.

2. Assessment of the jobsite along with health and safety surveys.

3. Ensure proper personal protection equipment (PPE) is being utilized by all restoration personnel. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Nitrile and cut resistant gloves
  • Rubber boots with steel toes and shank
  • Full face respirator
  • Full body suit protection

4. Put engineering controls in place, as well as critical barriers if needed to stop any cross-contamination from occurring.

5. Removing any type of potential safety risks if at all possible.

6. Disposal, removal of bulk flooding, soil, and contaminates.

7. Disposal of all contaminated porous and semi-porous materials that are not salvageable, which can consist of but are not limited to:

  • Carpet, rugs, pad, or underlayment
  • Gypsum board (Drywall)
  • Hardwood flooring
  • Vinyl flooring and underlayment
  • Padded and upholstered items

8. Implement cleaning methods and utilization of EPA registered biocides and antimicrobials

9. Full physical cleaning of all structure items that remain

10. A third-party Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) is recommended to perform clearance testing, to ensure the building is returned to a pre-loss condition for health and safety.

11. All materials affected by excess waters are to be dried and returned to pre-loss dry condition

12. Post restoration cleaning of all tools and machinery used

13. Elimination and disposal of all demo materials removed from the work areas

Call PuroClean for your Professional Charleston, SC Sewage Cleanup Needs!

What do you do if a sewer main backup occurs in your house or business? The correct answer is: Contact PuroClean! Simply because PuroClean technicians are your ideal professionals for sewage removal and cleaning services. With the latest and greatest equipment and cleaning tools, we efficiently restore, repair and completely cleanse the affected areas in your home or business.

The high standard of our sewage eradication and cleaning services along with the timeliness in which we complete the work, and the sheer compassion we practice throughout the process make us your complete water damage restoration and remediation company. PuroClean promises to do whatever it takes to save, clean and restore all properties that are within our service areas.

*Not all PuroClean offices provide sewage cleanup and sanitation cleaning services.

"Very conscientious, concerned, and professional. I highly recommend and will use them again. PuroClean Disaster Restoration Specialists exceeded our expectations."

Charleston, SC

Exceptional service, prompt to show up and to follow through the entire project. Very helpful and easy to reach!”

Mt. Pleasant, SC


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