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Not All Water Losses Are Created Equal Nor Is the Contamination Level of the Water

March 15th, 2013 · 1 Comment

So you have a water line to your ice maker in your refrigerator break and flood your kitchen and the basement below.  What is the big deal?  It’s just water, right?  This is where the science of water mitigation training all of our technicians at ServiceMaster of Rochester receive comes to your rescue.  This science is best explained by the IICRC S500 (see, the Standard of Care for the Water Mitigation and Restoration industry.

The facts are simple, but many times ignored.  While the initial water source may by clean… even clean enough to drink… as water comes in contact with materials that are less than clean or has the gift of time, it degrades to a contamination level that may or may not be safe for your family or friends to handle under the given conditions.

So how does the industry look at water damage and more importantly the water flowing through your home?  There are three levels or Categories of water losses.  Here is a quick summary:

Category 1:  Water with no significant risk of causing sickness or discomfort.  This water usually comes from a sanitary water supply line, must not have sat in the structure for more than 72 hours, and the materials affected are clean and well maintained.

Category 2:  This category is the majority of water losses that occur in homes.  This water does carry a significant degree of chemical, biological, and/or physical contamination.  Sources include aquariums, waterbed leaks, toilet bowl overflows (from the home side of the trap), dishwasher discharges, clothes washer discharges, and water that enters the structure from hydrostatic pressure.

Category 3: Many times called a sewer loss or “black water” loss, this water results from a grossly unsanitary source and contains pathogenic (disease causing) agents, or is water that has dwelled in the structure for more than 120 hours.  This water originates beyond the trap in toilets and sinks or comes from flood waters.  All porous and semi-porous building materials like carpet, pad, and drywall that the water has compromised should be properly removed from the structure.

As you can see, not all water is created equal.  ServiceMaster of Rochester and our IICRC certified technicians can provide for the safe removal of the water and contaminated items from your home or business.

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One response to “Not All Water Losses Are Created Equal Nor Is the Contamination Level of the Water”

  1. Steve Cox says:

    Well said. It can be difficult to explain quickly to a customer the differences and the health risks and cost.

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