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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Water Damage from Contaminated Water: Do & Don't

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

Heavy rains brought significant flooding to the Mississippi Delta in March 2016. The water remained high for 3 weeks.

What is Contaminated Water?

As defined by the IICRC, Category 3 water is water that which is highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans. Examples: sewage, rising flood waters from rivers and streams, ground surface water flowing horizontally into homes. There are two ways in which water can enter a building through wind or storm damage. The first involves falling or windblown rainwater that enters as a result of damage to roof components or wall assempblies. The second involves horizontally traveling ground surface water (Category 3) containing silt and soil contaminants that infiltrate into structures, generally through doors or around foundation walls. 

If you find your home or building affected by contaminated water, we've listed a few of our favorite tips for what to do and what not to do after a water damage.


Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.

Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

Contact a restoration professional such as SERVPRO of Baldwin County.


Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet carpets.

Turn on HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.

Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.

Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.


If exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post-exposure medical evaluation. Consult your local health department or physician.

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