When a sewer line is blocked, the sewage that is thick and dark is dangerous to your health. This sewer waste is extremely unsanitary, containing contaminants like bacteria, viruses and pathogens. All of these dangerous germs can pose a serious health danger and lead to many illnesses if humans or animals are exposed. If it happens that you experience sewage backup on the property of your home or business, or a toilet backup in either location, repairing either one is of the highest importance. Having this filthy sewer waste in your home is not safe and should be removed quickly. Also, to know what is causing the sewer backups may aid in stopping this potentially hazardous incident. To help you in handling sewage backups in your home or business, here’s a list of things that may help:

Why Sewage Backup Occurs

  • Considerable Rainfall – Excess rains can overpower your town or city’s storm sewer system. If this happens, the waste can back up into the connected sewer lines putting your home or business in possible risk of water backflow. Swelling rivers and streams, hurricanes and other relevant events can cause flood and sewage waters to blend and present genuine health related problems. You should be highly cautious when walking in this sort of water, and even stay vigilant after the water recedes and dries up. It’s possible for the organic matter to turn aerosolized and respirable, meaning there’s a chance you could inhale it into your lungs. To protect from contact or risk of breathing in these contaminants, proper PPE should be used at all times.
  • Tree Roots – Trees can have long roots that grow into water or sewer pipes and crush or impair them. Damage to pipes and a sewage backup can also be induced by tree roots that aren’t even on your premises. Be acutely 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 systems are susceptible to breaking down and cracking, causing sewer backups, sewer filled basements along with entire home flooding. The older your neighborhood or home may raise the threat of this type of catastrophe 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 commode causes a sewage backup, the lines 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 tendency to suffer damage and crack, leading to sewer water influx and flooded dwellings full of sewage. If your home or neighborhood is older, the likelihood is greater that you’ll experience failing sewer lines than newer ones.
  • Copious Rainfall – Heavy and sudden rainfall can defeat your local storm sewer lines quickly. If these public sewers can’t deal with excess rainfall, water can backup and progress into connected sewer lines. This can put your dwelling at risk of backflow difficulties. Area flood waters from events like surging rivers and creeks, hurricanes, or any similar weather events can cause clean water to blend with sewage water and other chemicals and contaminants that cause serious health ailments. Use extreme carefulness when moving on foot in this type of waste, but also stay cautious once it dries. The dried organic matter can turn airborne and turn respirable. Correct PPE needs to be utilized at all times to stop contact and risk inhaling polluted air.
  • Blocked/Clogged Sewer Lines – A clogged pipe or sewer line can cause sewage to back up into your dwelling or business. If only one commode becomes blocked, the sewage backup can spread on to the sewer pipes and influence all attached toilets on that line.
  • Roots from Trees – Tree roots can be harmful to water and sewer pipes. The roots from large trees can grow into and around the pipes and damage them tremendously. If the roots around your property are not the culprit, roots from nearby trees can grow under property lines and damage your sewer pipes, causing a sewage issue. Be extra aware of all tree roots near your mainline sewer pipes and/or pipes connected to your septic tank.

PuroClean’s sewage cleaning and sanitation process in Providence, RI

Our procedures for Category 3 water (also known as sewer and contaminated water backup) cleaning, adhering to the IICRC industry guidelines, consists of:

1. Ensure all personnel and occupants stay safe by limiting access to the site to remediation employees only in order to stop any health-related issues.

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

3. Ensure all remediation employees are supplied with and use the proper personal protection equipment (PPE). This includes, but isn’t limited to the following:

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

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

5. Stopping all potential hazards and safety risks if possible.

6. Bulk water, soil, and contaminates removal

7. Disposing of any and all porous and semi-porous contaminated items that are unable to be saved, which includes but is not limited to:

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

8. Cleaning procedures implemented, as well as 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. Drying of all items affected by the sewer water intrusion back to pre-loss dry state

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

13. All materials from demolition process removed completely

Call PuroClean for your Professional Providence, RI Sewage Cleanup Needs!

If a sewage drain line backup happens in your home or business, call the PuroClean specialists for sewage removal and cleaning services. Our specialists use state-of-the-art tools, methods and cleaning systems to fully remediate the damaged structures and contents.

The professional nature of our sewage removal and cleaning services, the speed in which we deliver them, and the care we demonstrate throughout the entire process make PuroClean your perfect damage restoration and remediation company. We will strive to do whatever it takes to restore and rescue properties in all the communities we serve.

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

You guys were wonderful!


Fantastic company. We've referred PuroClean several times and our clients always remark on their professionalism and knowledge. They have a great company culture and dedication to the work they do. [...]



What does BBP mean?

Bloodborne pathogens (BBPs), as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), means pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. These pathogens [...]

How can I sterilize my home after taking care of a patient with the Coronavirus?

Cleaning your home after it has been compromised by someone with the Coronavirus infection is an important followup to keeping yourself and your family members safe.  Be sure to thoroughly [...]

Will my insurance cover crime scene cleanup?

Most homeowners insurance will cover crime scene (biohazard) cleanup. We recommend that you consult your insurance agent/carrier to find out if you can make a claim for your particular circumstance. [...]

What is Coronavirus?

“Coronavirus” is an umbrella term for many types of viruses. This group of viruses has been known for decades and can cause respiratory diseases in both people and animals. What [...]

Should I wear a face mask to prevent infection?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requests that we all do our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus.  We can do this by avoiding close contact [...]