How to Cleanup Sewage from a Backed Up Toilet

Many homes are prone to backed up toilet overflows. Some of it has to do with the age of the homes, some of it has to do with poor upkeep of the drain lines, some of it has to do with the overgrowth of tree roots into drain lines, etc. We get consistent calls for cleaning up and drying out sewage water in this area of the County.

The first thing to know is that there are millions of parasites, bacteria, virus, and other harmful contaminants in sewage water that can cause severe reactions and in some cases death if in contact with the skin, inhaled, imbibed, etc. It is very important not to contaminate yourself, family, or other occupants in the building. It is referred to as CAT 3 or category 3 or black or sewage since it has so many contaminants within it.

If it seems like there is an issue with running water, have it turned off. A plumber should also be called to “snake” and/or clear the line. Sometimes this is which a hand held “snake” rooter, other times it will need to be a trailer mounted rooter, other times it is a water blaster, depending on the severity of the stoppage. It is also prudent if you live in a complex to notify the other occupants so that they can verify no damage and/or move items away from potential flooding, etc. There is usually a main shutoff valve in a garage, near a water heater, or just outside the building on the first floor. Additionally, another main shutoff valve for the building is usually located near the street.

Since sewage water contains so many contaminants, the standards for cleaning it up are different than, say, clean water such as water from a burst supply line. Anything that touches the water, is porous, and is non-structural in the building should be removed. Examples of this are carpet and padding, drywall, insulation, plywood cabinets, fabric attached to furniture, etc.

The first step after shutting of the source is to clean the water up. This needs to be done with proper protection of exposed skin, lungs, and eyes. At Dry Express Restoration this is one thing that we specialize in. We have the proper protection, know the proper procedures, and have the proper equipment to clean up the sewage water correctly. We would extract the water using a flood pumper.

The next step is to apply an antimicrobial after the areas have been roughly cleaned up. During this time we would also setup containment to eliminate cross contamination into other areas of the building. We would also setup negative air ventilation and filtration with HEPA airscrubbers to clean the air of contaminants. We would also remove any porous, non-structural items that were affected by the water damage. The EPA, New Your Mold Standard, and IICRC have clear guidelines about this and all not the necessity to do so for minimizing further contamination.

Then we would size equipment for drying as well as keep cleansing the air. We would monitor the drying processes daily and adjusted equipment as needed to expedite the process.

When you have a sewage backup such as an overflowed toilet, backed up shower drain, overflowed backed up bathtub, sewer line burst, rain water that enters the house, flooding from rain, etc we can help.


Call us today! 619.597.2003


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