When a sewer line is obstructed, the sewage that is thick and dark is dangerous to your health. This sewer water is extremely unclean, containing contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and pathogens. All of these contaminants can pose a serious health risk and lead to many illnesses if humans or animals are exposed. If it happens that you experience sewage backup on the premises of your home or business, or a toilet backup in either location, repairing either one is of the highest importance. Having this unsanitary sewer water in your home is dangerous and should be removed quickly. Furthermore, to know what is causing the sewer backups may aid in preventing this potentially hazardous incident. To help you in managing sewage backups in your home or business, following is a list of things that may help:

Causes of Sewage Backup

  • Considerable Rainfall – Excess flooding can overpower your town or city’s storm sewer mainlines. If this happens, the water can back up into the connected sewer lines placing your home or business in possible danger of water backflow. Increasing rivers and streams, hurricanes and other relevant events can cause flood and sewage waters to mix and present genuine health related problems. You should be extremely cautious when walking in this type of water, and even stay cautious after the water recedes and dries up. It’s probable for the organic matter to become aerosolized and respirable, meaning there’s a chance you could inhale it into your lungs. To stop contact or risk of inhaling these contaminants, appropriate PPE should be worn at all times.
  • Tree Roots – Trees can have strong roots that grow into water or sewer lines and crush or break them. Damage to pipes and a sewer backup can also be caused by tree roots that aren’t even on your property. Be very aware of any tree roots that can sprawl into your water and sewer lines that lead to the main sewer line or septic system.
  • Old/Aging Sewer Lines – Older and aging sewage systems are susceptible to crumbling and cracking, inducing sewer backups, flooded basements as well as entire home flooding. The older your region or home may raise the chance of this type of catastrophe occurring.
  • Clogged and Blocked Drain Pipes – If your house or business’s main sewer line or drain pipes become clogged, sewage may back up inside the dwelling. A good example is: if a single commode causes a sewage blockage, the adjacent pipes connected to that toilet, or the main drain lines of more toilets, will also suffer backflow flooding.
  • Old and/or Damaged Lines – Older sewage systems have a propensity to suffer damage and crack, leading to sewage backups and flooded dwellings full of sewage. If your home or region is older, the probability is greater that you’ll experience failing sewer lines than newer ones.
  • Heavy Rain – Heavy and rapid rainfall can defeat your local storm sewer lines promptly. If these public sewer pipes can’t deal with excess downpours, water can backup and flow 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 other weather events can cause clean water to blend with sewage water and other chemicals and contaminants that cause serious health problems. Use extreme caution when wading in this type of water, but also stay cautious when it dries. The dried organic matter can turn aerosolized and turn respirable. Proper PPE needs to be used at all times to prevent contact and risk inhaling polluted air.
  • Blocked/Clogged Sewer Lines – A fouled pipe or sewer line can cause sewage to back up into your dwelling or business. If only one commode becomes backed up, the sewer water backup can spread down the sewer lines and disturb all linked toilets on that line.
  • Tree Roots – Tree roots can wreak havoc on water and sewer lines. The roots from huge trees can grow into and around the lines and damage them tremendously. If the roots under your property are not the problem, roots from nearby trees can extend under property lines and ruin your sewer line, causing a sewage issue. Be extra aware of all tree roots that could affect your mainline sewer pipes and/or pipes that run to your septic tank.

Our Baltimore, MD 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 ensure the safety of all occupants and workers by restricting jobsite access to restoration and cleanup personnel only to help prevent any health related situations.

2. Valuation of the work place along with health and safety surveys.

3. Ensure all cleanup and restoration personnel are outfitted with the proper personal protection equipment (PPE). This includes but is not limited to:

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

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

5. Eliminating any and all probable safety risks if possible.

6. Clearing the site of all bulk water, soil, and contaminates.

7. Getting rid of any and all porous and semi-porous contaminated materials that are unable to be salvaged, which includes but is not limited to:

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

8. Implement cleaning procedures and use of EPA certified biocides and antimicrobials

9. Manual cleaning of all remaining structure items

10. It is suggested to schedule a third party Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) for a safety clearance inspection to ensure the entire site is returned to pre-loss state for health and safety.

11. All materials touched by water to be dried and returned to pre-loss standard

12. Post remediation cleansing of all equipment utilized

13. Disposal of all demo materials removed from the site

Call PuroClean for Professional Sewage Cleanup in Baltimore, MD!

What do you do if a sewer line backup occurs in your home or business? The perfect answer is: Contact PuroClean! For the simple fact that PuroClean technicians are your perfect professionals for sewage abatement and cleaning services. With state-of-the-art equipment and cleaning tools, we efficiently restore, remediate and completely cleanse the affected areas in your home or business.

We have proved time after time that our methods and our specialists are top quality, efficient, and work with care and kindness for all involved. PuroClean is your ideal damage restoration and cleaning firm and we pledge to do whatever needs to take place to save and restore all homes and businesses in the communities we serve.

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

Crew that came out for water damage clean up was prompt, courteous and awesome to work with. They always called with the time they would be here and were always on time. They kept me informed of [...]


They moved fast and quality of work was awesome! Customer service was off the charts good. I recommend Puroclean!

Baltimore, MD


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