Avoid the Serious Risks of Raw Sewage Cleanup or Toilet Backflow

Black water cholera

Cholera is one of hundreds of potentially deadly pathogens in raw sewage.

The term ‘Sewage Safety’ is the classic oxymoron, as fluid waste flowing into a home is highly toxic and as a biohazard by definition can be dangerous to occupants’ health. Raw sewage is also known as ‘black water’ or Category 3 water.  ‘Black water’ floods originate from sewer and septic back-ups, broken waste pipes, toilet overflows or lake, pond or river floods. Sewer or “black water” contains human waste, pathogens, infectious materials and is teeming with disease causing viruses, bacteria and protozoa that can cause very serious illnesses. Even after sewage dries, if not properly removed and sanitized, these pathogens can then become airborne and negatively impact Indoor Air Quality.

Black water scene

The embodiment of a very bad day. Raw sewage backing up into a living space.

Flood water from rivers, ponding or lakes also contains silt, animal feces and other organic materials, industrial chemicals, fertilizer runoff and toxic materials. Due to the nature of sewage or flood waters, contact with the contaminated area must be avoided by all occupants. Never attempt to tackle a nasty mess of ‘Black water’ yourself as it is not worth gambling with your health.


A home can be healthy and peaceful one moment, then overflowing with hazardous waste the next. As a homeowner, being aware of the realities of sewage safety is important should this sudden and shocking disaster happen inside your property. We recommend that you immediately call Floodco as soon as a raw sewage situation occurs, because this is such an urgent and dangerous situation.

Quickly dealing with sewage is the most important safety step you can take for the health of your family and the protection of your home. The faster we can attack your problem, the less time and money will be expended during the process. The sooner your home will again be safe and comfortable!


Cleanup Process for Sewage Safety

Black Water cleanup photo

Drying in Process following a Category 3 Black Water claim.


  • If you experience raw sewage water damage, exit the home immediately. Don’t plug your nose, wade in and try to save furnishings or other belongings. It is not safe to be in or near raw sewage, and you should find alternative accommodations for the time being. It is sometimes possible to stay in a building that is undergoing a raw sewage cleanup project, but the contaminated area must be able to be completely sealed off from the rest of the property. We will advise you on this.
  • Only trained, certified professionals wearing the proper Personal Protective Equipment should get involved in the cleanup process. Working in contaminated areas without industrial-grade equipment is never recommended. Sewage is a bio-hazard and exposure can cause deadly disease. Exposures include both the liquid and airborne pathogens.
  • If raw sewage has contaminated an area with absorbent contents, these should be identified, contained, and thrown away in an environmentally safe manner. Once raw sewage has saturated these materials, it is no longer safe to attempt to restore them to a pre-loss state. In accordance with the IICRC guidelines of raw sewage safety, the list of absorbent or porous materials that must be disposed of includes:
  • Carpet and Carpet pad
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Bedding and mattresses
  • Clothing
  • Saturated building materials

Please contact us at Floodco, LLC immediately if you are experiencing any type of raw sewage water damage or other flooding. We are available to respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Raw sewage clean up emergencies are serious, but can usually be completed quickly and safely with the right equipment and quick response time.

Floodco LLC  Emergency Water Removal  406 892-1717