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Although someone can never predict when to clean up a sewage spill, one can take steps to prepare for the worst. If one encounters raw sewage at home or business, it’s essential to act quickly. The longer sewage sits at home, the more damage it will cause. That’s because liquid and solid waste break down into smaller particles over time, making vacuuming far more complex.
A sewer spill can cause a nasty mess to one’s home. Sewage spills can occur in the toilet, bathtub, vanity, shower, or floor drain. It can also happen outside when a sewage line is broken or clogged. Clogged drains or pipes typically cause sewage spills. When gutters become blocked, it can cause wastewater to back up into the sink or toilet, resulting in a spill. This is especially true if the spill happens inside a person’s home or business. In some cases, the pipe itself may be broken or damaged due to severe weather conditions such as flooding.
Before someone even begins cleaning the spill, the person must wear protective gear. Wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible, like long pants and sleeves. Use gloves and a face mask as well. This will keep the person from directly contacting the sewage, which could potentially contain dangerous viruses or bacteria.
Wear goggles that completely cover the eyes so that they stay safe from splashes of sewage water. The goggles should be safety glass or plastic, not regular glasses. One should also wear a face mask. This will protect the person from inhaling dust and other harmful particles that may be present in the air at the spill site.
Have some rubber gloves that can be disposable or reusable. Rubber gloves will protect hands from coming into direct contact with the dirty water and protect them from any chemicals or detergents someone may use to clean up the mess.
If a person has a small spill, the first goal should be to contain it. If it’s a large spill, start by containing the area around the edges of the spill. The best way to contain a spill is by using absorbent materials like sand or kitty litter. It is not appropriate to clean up raw sewage without first putting some absorbent material down.
Otherwise, the liquid will just spread out more as one tries to clean it up. Instead, start by spreading kitty litter all over the area. The granules will soak up all of the liquid, making it easier for someone to dispose of once the spill is cleaned up.
Remove the absorbent materials and any other contaminated materials by scraping them off into a plastic trash bag for disposal. One may want to use hot water when mopping to kill any remaining germs that could be lingering in the area. Ensure that everyone at home uses a different bathroom until the one affected by the sewer backup has been cleaned. If this whole process becomes overwhelming, one can search sewage cleanup near me to get professional services that are reliable.
If the spill is smaller than a gallon, someone can use a paper towel to mop up the waste. If it’s larger than that or has soaked into fabrics, the person will need to use towels or rags and a bucket of water to clean the area. The towels and rags used to clean up the mess should be disposed of properly. Also, don’t just throw any contaminated clothing in the laundry basket or washing machine — this could seriously contaminate the laundry, too! Instead, box them up and take them directly to a laundromat where they can be washed separately from all other items.
A person can put them in plastic bags and throw them out with other trash. After cleaning everything up, ventilate the space so that any leftover odors will dissipate. Open any windows or doors in the room where the spill occurred for at least 30 minutes. Call a professional plumber or restoration company if in need of help cleaning up a sewage spill.
If a sewage spill occurs at home, stop the source of contamination if possible (i.e., find the broken pipe or blocked drain line) and cover sewage spills with rags or paper towels to soak up excess water and prevent it from seeping through porous materials such as concrete, wood, or carpet. If one has access to outside water, flood the contaminated area with clean water. Call the local public health department and contact licensed sewage. Sewage spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible because they can contain various bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause serious illness.
Flush all potentially contaminated surfaces with a strong spray of clean water
Dilute the area with water. Flush all potentially contaminated surfaces with a strong spray of clean water to dilute any remaining contaminants. Thoroughly clean the affected area. Mix 1/4 cup of lime juice into 2 gallons of hot water. Use this mixture to scrub all surfaces with a stiff brush or broom until they are visibly clean.
Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. Mix one gallon of hot water with 1/2 cup of liquid soap in a bucket or plastic tub, and again scrub all surfaces with a stiff brush until they are visibly clean. Rinse the area thoroughly with water. Flush all soapy surfaces one more time with fresh, hot water to remove any remaining soap residue. If possible, flush the measurement from bottom to top to ensure that sewage does not flow back onto cleaned surfaces from above.
Then use a commercial disinfectant solution to scrub down the entire area where the spill occurred, including walls and floors. Get a high-grade cleaning product such as our BioBag toilet bowl cleaner for this step to ensure that all harmful bacteria are eliminated.
Household bleach solutions are usually best for disinfecting sewage spills; however, take care when using this product around floorboards, carpets, and furniture fabrics to stain or discolor them.
If someone is ever unfortunate enough to be on hand when a sewage spill occurs, it is essential to take care after the source of the spill has been stopped. The sewage matter left in the air can be hazardous and cause disease. Be aware of the surroundings and take appropriate action as soon as possible.