Atlantic Restoration Services
Sewage Decontamination
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Toll Free 877-670-3242

Regional Command Centers:


1600 Chattahoochee Ave.
Atlanta, Ga. 30318
West Palm Beach:
2753 Vista Parkway 

West Palm Beach, FL. 33411

 Fax 866-580-9069


Nationwide Toll Free 877-670-3242

404-352-9000  Florida

 Sewage Clean-up


CAUTION: Most insurance adjusters have no training in the "Standard of Care" for sewage losses. 

The Critical Path for Sewage Remediation:

Step1- Our Senior Consultant, an  Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP), will inspect the loss and establish a protocol for remediation.  Supervisors and Technicians are not qualified to set a work plan for sewage cleanup (Review the IICRC S 500- see information below)

Step 2- Our Certified Technicians have been scientifically trained to protect themselves and building occupants during the cleanup and sanitization of buildings that have had sewage floods.  Negatively pressurized containment of the affected area will be established.

Step 3- Organic matter and Category 3 water (Black Water) will be extracted.

Step 4-  The affected area will be sanitized by low pressure washing, an anti-microbial foaming, agitation and multi stage rinse procedure know by professionals in the restoration industry as the "Pittsburgh Protocol".

Step 5-  Structural drying to pre-loss condition.

Step 6-  Post Remediation swab testing to confirm the absence of the 3 major sewage indicator bacteria types. 

Facts About Sewage Wastewater:

  • Sewage coming from toilets and broken pipes, city sewers and private septic systems and wastewater
    coming into buildings from overflowing rivers and streams is unsanitary and unhealthy to come in
    contact with (ANSI/IICRC).
  • Wastewater contains harmful bacteria, fungus, viruses and parasites. While many illnesses produce short term health affects including diarrhea, fever, cramps, and sometimes vomiting, headache, weakness and loss of appetite (e.g., California and Delaware DHS); some sewage bacteria and viruses can cause acute and long term illness and disease (The Center for Disease Control
    and Prevention). New super bugs are emerging such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Staphylococcus bacteria are common on some persons and they can survive in unsanitary conditions (EMLab).
  • MRSA has not been well studied in sewage contaminated environments but Staphylococcus aureus is found in treated sewage Class B Biosolids.
  • Persons who come in contact with sewage contaminated environments should seek immediate medical
    attention when they become sick or they suspect that they have been infected.
    Immunization may protect
    workers against tetanus, hepatitis A and diphtheria (Center to Protect Workers’ Rights and IICRC).
    While hepatitis A vaccination is not recommended by CDC for individuals who have general contact
    with wastewater, persons who have direct contact with untreated sewage or who have a liver disease
    may require hepatitis A vaccination (Univ. of Iowa Worksafe Bulletin, Vol. 16, No. 1 - July 2008).
  • Persons who have contact with contaminated water where blood or blood components are present or is
    anticipated should receive the hepatitis B vaccine (CDC Bulletin October 12, 2005).

The Industry "Standard of Care" for Sewage Cleanup :

  • There are industry standards of care sewage cleanup workers are expected to follow when cleaning up
    sewage (Category 3) wastewater and solids from buildings. 
  • The most detailed and comprehensive guidance document is the ANSI/IICRC S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration.
  • ANSI/IICRC S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation details proper use of engineering controls which are required when cleaning up sewage.  
  • ANSI is the American National Standards Institute and the IICRC is the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration who certifies workers through independent training schools. ANSI is the official U.S. representative to ISO the International
    Organization for Standardization. As such, ANSI standards are relied upon by government and industry as the authority in accrediting standards.
Complying with ANSI/IICRC S500 Standard when Cleaning Up Sewage:

Consult an indoor environmental professional (IEP) for a protocol and regarding the selection appropriate of PPE.
• It is an OSHA violation to allow workers to come in contact with unsafe and unhealthy jobs.OSHA regulations require workers to use personal protective clothing (PPE).
• Complete a job hazard assessment to ensure the sewage contaminated workplace is safe for workers.
• Inspect all damaged materials and determine if they should be cleaned and sanitized or disposed. This evaluation
process may be delegated to the IEP as dictated by the situation.
• Get a contract signed that explains all of the cleanup services to be applied.
• When the customer disagrees with a required cleanup service – contact your IEP.
• When a change (addition or deletion of a service) to the contract is necessary make changes on change order forms.
When there is a possible occupant health issue including the presence of small children, immune compromised
persons, a public health issue may exist or contaminants are believed to have been aerosolized, hire an IEP.
• Place appropriate signage and containment that keeps building occupants and the public safe from sewage hazards.
• Through visual inspection and moisture testing determine the size of the damage/contamination.
• Document the size of the cleanup job through moisture testing and photographs.
• “Moisture map” the size of the affected area as compared to non-water damaged/contaminated areas.
• When unaffected contents are in the way of the cleanup process remove them to a safe place.
• When contents are contaminated surface clean and then remove them to a safe place for further cleaning.
• Porous contents should be cleaned and sanitized or disposed on a case-by-case basis.
• When high-value and irreplaceable contents have been affected by sewage an IEP should confirm the item is
decontaminated to where it can be safely returned back to the customer.
• In older buildings, ensure asbestos and lead paint is not being incorrectly disturbed or removed.
• Remove all standing sewage wastewater and solids and dispose of all waste legally.
• Cutout contaminated porous materials such as carpet and pad, drywall and insulation.
• Flush out sewage waste from under sole (sill) plates followed by cleaning and drying.
• When wastewater is below the surface of a hardwood floor remove the damaged/contaminated hardwood.
• When wastewater saturates underlayment remove the underlayment and surface material (e.g., vinyl tile).
• When wastewater is under or behind a cabinet carefully detach the cabinet.
• When wastewater saturates and damages particleboard dispose saturated particleboard.
• Apply cleaners and detergents per manufacturer labeling.
• After detergent washing thoroughly rinse all salvageable materials with fresh water.
• If necessary apply disinfectants per manufacturer labeling.
• When disinfectants are applied, they are expected to be rinsed off with fresh water.
Install air movement and drying equipment only once the indoor space is clean and sanitary.
• Dry wet building materials back to pre-loss moisture conditions.
• When necessary, IEP’s should be used to “independently” verify the completion of work.