The Three Types of Water in Sewage Backups

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When you buy a home, you'll be responsible for maintenance - but what happens if you have a sewage backup?

Your best bet is to call a sewage cleanup company near you. You'll have to explain what happened and, if possible, identify the source of the backup. When there's a backup, where it comes from is incredibly important; it can mean the difference between one of three types of sewage.

What Are the Three Types of Sewage?

The three types of sewage are clean water, gray water and black water.

Clean Water

Clean water doesn't necessarily mean the water is actually clean - it just means it came from a clean source, like a leaky faucet or broken pipe carrying water into your home.

Gray Water

Gray water is definitely contaminated. Sometimes it comes from toilet overflow that included urine but not feces; it can come from your dishwasher, your washing machine, or another source, too. Gray water can turn into the worst kind of sewage - black water - if it's not addressed immediately.

Black Water

Black water is very contaminated. It can cause serious illness or death, so your best bet is to stay as far away from it as possible. Black water can contain feces, debris and contaminants from flooded rivers or streams, or other microbes. Sometimes black water has chemicals and dangerous viruses or bacteria in it.

The bottom line: If you have a sewage backup in your home, you need to call a professional in to handle it. It's not worth putting yourself or your family at risk.


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William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

And these waters are usuall all mixed together when a back up occurs

May 18, 2018 05:39 PM #1
Fred Griffin
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

       I was previewing a potential listing last year.  House on acreage, out in the county.  While touring the house, I asked the owner if she knew of any problems.   She told me that the sinks drain slowly, and sometimes the toilets have to be flushed more than once. 

      I asked her when was the last time she had the septic tank inspected or pumped.  She had lived in the house for more than 10 years.  Her answer was, "Never!"

May 18, 2018 05:49 PM #2
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

 Thanks for the very good report about types of water in sewage backups.

May 19, 2018 03:21 PM #3
Golden1 Agents
San Mateo, CA

Useful info .. Thank you for sharing.

May 19, 2018 06:38 PM #4
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