Basement Flooded with Sewage Backup – 4 Things to Know

Basement flooding is never good, but when the cause is sewage backup, it can become even more of a nightmare. It’s a mess, it creates terrible odors and damage, and most importantly, it can become a serious health risk for anyone living in the home. That’s why immediate cleanup is needed.

If your basement is flooded with sewage, here are 4 things you should know.

It’s a Category 3 Type Water Loss

A category 3 water loss involves invasive water that is heavily contaminated and can contain toxigenic, pathogenic or other health threatening agents. This dangerous type water may carry silt, organic matter, waste, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances. 

Some examples can include: sewage, toilet backflows regardless of visible content or color, flooding from ground surface water and rising water from rivers and streams, or other contaminated water entering the property.

Sewage Backup is Usually Preventable

There are several different options for assisting with and preventing sewer backup. Of course, this is one of the many flooding situations in your basement that can usually be prevented. The most common causes of sewage backup include:

  • Backup from the municipal sanitary sewer system due to rain deluge
  • Backup from your home’s main sewer line due to a clog or collapsed pipe
  • Tree roots growing into sewer lines that cause damage or blockages
  • A full septic tank that has not been properly emptied
  • Grease buildup from pouring grease down drains leading to blockages in sewage pipes

Sewage Backup is Dangerous for Your Health

Not only is it gross and smelly, but sewage flooded in your basement can be a serious health hazard. There are bacteria and contaminants in sewage, along with noxious gases, that can cause a lot of health issues and put you and your family at risk. If there is sewage backup flooding in your basement or anywhere in your home, you will need to leave the property until the problem is resolved.

Some of the dangers found in sewage include:

  • E. Coli
  • Salmonella
  • Hepatitis (liver infection or failure)
  • Leptospirosis (muscle aches and vomiting)
  • Acanthamoeba (eye, ear, nose, throat infections)
  • Helicobacter Pylori (ulcer risk increase)

Sewage Backup Needs to be Cleaned Immediately

If you are dealing with a basement flooded with sewage, you need to get help right away. Leave the home and call a professional water damage restoration and sewage backup cleanup service, along with a reputable and licensed plumber that can address the sewage issues that are present once the cleanup is complete. You should also call your home insurance company and find out if any of this damage is covered. They may wait to determine the cause before offering to provide coverage, or they may send their own estimator out to investigate and determine whether they can cover the event.

Regardless, you need to call the cleanup experts because they will have the right equipment, safety gear, and tools to get the job done right. Protective clothing and breathing protection are needed for working with raw sewage and it’s important that it is only handled by those who understand the hazardous nature of the waste.

If your basement is flooded with sewage, you are probably a little panicked and worried for your home and your safety—but you’re not in this alone. Call a professional cleanup crew right away, and since most are available 24 hours, they’ll be there when you need them most to provide you with guidance and assistance in getting your basement back in safe, usable order.