Toilet and sewer line backups may result in sewage entering your basement or other areas of your home or company. This dark, thick water is very hazardous and contains quite a lot of dangerous contaminants. These contaminants consist of pathogens, bacteria and viruses and cause health risks and sickness dangers if people or animals become exposed. Fixing these problems ASAP is imperative, as is removing sewage from your home or business. Having knowledge of what may lead to sewer blockages may help you prevent a hazardous condition in your home or basement. Please see this list of things that may help prevent sewage backups that may occur in your home or business:

Why Sewage Backup Occurs

  • Heavy Rainfall – Excess flooding can overpower your town or city’s storm sewer system. If this happens, the waste can back up into the connected sewer lines bringing your home or business in possible compromise of water backflow. Increasing rivers and streams, hurricanes and other related events can cause flood and sewage waters to blend and present genuine health related dangers. You should be highly cautious when wading in this type of water, and even stay vigilant after the water recedes and dries up. It’s viable for the organic matter to become aerosolized and respirable, meaning there’s a chance you could breathe it into your lungs. To stop contact or risk of breathing in these contaminants, legitimate 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 damage them. Damage to pipes and a sewer backup can also be induced by tree roots that aren’t even on your property. 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 Lines – Older and aging sewage structures are susceptible to breaking down and cracking, causing sewer backups, flooded basements along with entire home flooding. The older your area or house may raise the chance of this type of damage occurring.
  • Clogged and Blocked Drain Pipes – If your house or business’s main sewer pipes or drain pipes become blocked, sewage may back up inside the dwelling. A fine example is: if a single toilet causes a sewage blockage, the lines connected to that toilet, or the main drain pipes of more toilets, will also become backed up.
  • Old and/or Damaged Lines – Aging sewage systems have a propensity to suffer damage and crack, leading to sewer water influx and flooded dwellings full of sewage. If your home or area is older, the probability is greater that you’ll experience damaged sewer lines than newer ones.
  • Heavy Rain – Heavy and rapid downpours can overwhelm your local storm sewer lines promptly. If these public sewers can’t deal with excess downpours, water can backup and progress into connected sewer lines. This can put your dwelling at risk of backflow difficulties. Local flood waters from events like surging rivers and creeks, hurricanes, or any rainy weather events can cause clean water to mix with sewage water and other chemicals and contaminants that cause serious health consequences. Use extreme caution when moving on foot in this type of waste, but also remain cautious when it dries. The dried organic waste can turn airborne and turn respirable. Correct PPE needs to be worn at all times to prevent contact and risk inhaling contaminated air.
  • Blocked/Clogged Pipes – A fouled pipe or sewer line can cause sewage to back up into your dwelling or business. If only one toilet becomes backed up, the sewage backup can spread into the sewer pipes and affect all linked toilets on that line.
  • Tree Roots – Tree roots can be harmful 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 cause, roots from closely located trees can grow under property lines and ruin your sewer pipes, causing a sewage problem. Be super aware of all tree roots close to your mainline sewer pipes and/or pipes that run to your septic tank.

PuroClean’s process for sewage cleanup and sanitation in Portland, ME

Our procedures for Category 3 water (also known as sewer and contaminated water backup) cleanup, following the IICRC industry standards, consists of:

1. Ensuring safety for all personnel and occupants by placing restrictions on site access to remediation personnel only in order to prevent health related occurrences.

2. Assessment of the jobsite and Health and Safety surveys.

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

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

4. Implement established engineering controls, critical barriers, to prevent cross-contamination.

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

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

7. Removing any and all porous and semi-porous contaminated articles that are unable to be salvaged, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Gypsum board (drywall)
  • Carpeting, rugs, pad, and/or subflooring
  • Vinyl flooring and underlayment
  • Hardwood flooring
  • Padded and upholstered belongings

8. Cleaning processes put in place and the use of EPA registered biocides and antimicrobials

9. Manual cleaning of all remaining structure areas

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 the water to be dried and returned to pre-loss dry standards

12. After completion of remediation – Cleansing of all equipment used

13. Transfer and disposal of all demo materials removed from the site

For Professional Sewage Cleanup in Portland, ME, Call PuroClean!

Our technicians put to use state-of-the-art equipment and cleaning processes to effectively restore and clean the unsound building materials and contents from your home or business. If a sewage drain line backup from blockage happens, call our professionals for sewage removal and cleaning services.

The high standard of our sewage eradication and cleaning services along with the timeliness in which we complete the work, and the absolute care we practice throughout the process make PuroClean 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 neighborhoods.

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

These guys were professional from the word go. The owner of the business came and did a thorough estimate within 20 mins. He was willing to work with me as I struggled with the insurance adjuster [...]

Damariscotta, ME

They were efficient, hardworking and well mannered.



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