What Are the Three Types of Contaminated Water?
Water damage is classified by water remediation professionals according to whether the damage is from contaminated water or clean water. The source of the water determines which category the water damage is placed in. There are three categories of water damage.
3 Types of Contaminated Water
Category 1, also known as clean water, is water damage from a clean source, such as a supply line, a broken pipe, or overflow from a clean bathtub, sink, or toilet. Water from these sources should not contain significant amounts of harmful bacteria or chemicals and can generally be safely removed by property owners.
Category 2 contaminated water is called greywater. This type of water may contain some chemicals, bacteria, or nutrients that feed microorganisms but is not considered grossly unsanitary. Examples of this type of water include dirty water from a washing machine, bathtub, or sink or an overflow from a toilet that contains urine, but no feces. Protective gear, such as rubber gloves, should be used when handling this type of water and steps should be taken to sanitize surfaces that have come into contact with it.
Category 3 water is called black water. This water contains a high level of bacteria, microorganisms, or harmful chemicals. This type of water should be handled by a professional water remediation company in Greenville, NC, because safety equipment and training are needed to safely handle it. Examples of this type of water include raw sewage, floodwater from rivers, streams, and oceans, stagnate water, groundwater and toilet overflows that contain feces or originate from beyond the toilet trap. Additionally, category 2 water that has been standing for more than 48 to 72 hours may be considered category 3 because of bacteria growth.
Contaminated water is generally unsafe for property owners to attempt to clean. To avoid safety hazards and potential additional damage, it is best to contact a professional to clean and sanitize water damage that could contain harmful substances.