A sewage spill is by far the worst thing that can happen and we really never wish that our clients will ever have to go through such an experience. Not even the ferocity of natural phenomena can come close to the health hazards that come up after such an occurrence, not to mention the dangers to property that include and are not limited to the danger of an explosion that can send things sky high, injure people upon coming down, and then contaminate an entire area. Raw sewage can contain:
- a) Bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses that can cause a multitude of illnesses and diseases
- b) Unknown chemicals which can be solvents, pesticides and carcinogens or a mix of all of the above with unpredictable results
- c) Toxic, asphyxiating and flammable gases that can kill immediately or catch fire and extend the damage to the worse possible scenarios imaginable
- d) Poisonous substances that can kill if inhaled or ingested in the most horrible of ways
Sewage cleanup must be effected IMMEDIATELY. There is no time to waste as people’s lives and properties are at serious risk. However, this does not mean that it has to be done hastily and without some considerations taken into account. It would be pointless to contain the damage on one area only to dump the waste somewhere where the environment could be seriously hurt. It would also be pointless to gather all the dangerous objects and dispose of them in such a way that the lives of other people that would handle them later on could be placed in jeopardy.
In fact your help may also be required, not to mention crucial, in order to contain the damage effectively and as early as possible. If the damage has resulted from a septic tank backup or a clogged sewer line, after calling (818) 854-2988 to notify Emergency Flood Team Encino of the event, you should wear a pair of thick rubber boots, heavy and long gloves and anything you can think of that can protect your face and eyes and:
- a) Use a shovel to guide the solid waste to a heavy plastic bag which you should seal when filled with duct tape. Avoid touching the solid debris as much as possible even if your hands are protected
- b) Use some plastic sheeting to create a partition between the sewer slime and the rest of your property to contain the spreading as much as possible
- c) If any carpets and rugs have been contaminated, you need to tear them out and take them outside
The professional services of our team will do the rest for you including removing the sewer water, sanitizing and drying out whatever piece of your equipment can be salvaged and use any means possible to get rid of the smell. Unfortunately, not a lot can be done in that department. It can take up as much as a week to get rid of the foul smell of sewer contents. You can help the situation by keeping the windows open at all times and by using fans and dehumidifiers (if you have any).
Under no circumstances are you to engage in trying to repair a broken pipe on your own or in getting into the mud any deeper than your boots. And under no circumstances are you to have a prolonged exposure to the sewage waste. You are not properly equipped and it is quite possible that this exposure may result in dermatitis, hepatitis legionnaires disease, asthma, allergic alveolitis, fatal damage to the liver, kidneys and blood, skin and eye irritation and gastroenteritis.
Professionals dressed in special neoprene suites and equipped with full skin, eye and respiratory system protection must take care of the cleanup and restoration process. A process which may result in the unfortunate disposal of any porous materials that have been involved. Furniture, bedding and carpets must be disposed of even if they seem intact and it looks like they can be cleaned up. Unfortunately they cannot and they pose too great of a health safety risk especially for children. We understand the grief that such a disposal protocol brings especially with items that can hold a great sentimental value.
Perhaps this is the best of times to discuss on how you could have avoided such a happenstance altogether. Here are the reasons that a sewage spill can be caused:
- a) Solid substances inside the sewage systems. Many people believe that the sewage pipes are large enough to handle everything. This is not so. If you keep throwing bones, dirt, kitty litter, sanitary napkins, disposable diapers and most of all hair inside the sewage system it will eventually clog.
In this context actually the worse issue comes from hair. Especially men have the habit of shaving in the house. This hair is driven down the sewage system where at any point it can find a spot where it will get stuck. Hair do not get dissolved over time. On the contrary they can create a very solid and very hard to break blockage inside the pipe which will eventually cover the entire diameter and the result will be for the water to come back inside the house.
- b) Even the strongest of structures eventually succumbs to the relentlessness of time and nature. Pipes will eventually start to degrade, holes and cracks will appear and joints will be taken out of alignment so that the free flow of the sewage water is interrupted. Frequent inspections could have resolved this issue before any mishaps occurred especially for a building that is 50 or 100 years old.
- c) For those of you that live inside a tree zone, it is actually the roots of those trees that can infiltrate into the sewage pipes and let all hell break loose. At some point it is much preferable to invest some money into changing the old pipes to new plastic ones which prevent this from happening as roots will avoid plastic.
It could also very well be that it was not your problem or any fault of your own at all that created the sewage spill. We all know how cities services work and how well maintained their central sewage systems are. If one of the main city pipes gets blocked, there was nothing that you or anyone else for that matter could have done to prevent a sewage spill.
In fact in such a case it is recommended to call the city services directly to come and fix your problem as they must do it without you having to pay a single dime in the process. However, since it is a certainty that they will not respond in time, we at Emergency Flood Team Encino will see to it that the process is carried out immediately and properly and will mediate with the city officials for the rest of it including the compensation for our services.