Sewage cleanup is a critical task that must be completed when a home experiences an overflow or backed-up sewage system. Besides being quite disgusting, sewage poses a health risk to living quarters and people because it contains bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause serious health issues. Because of these health concerns, it’s important to understand who is responsible for this sort of cleanup so that the appropriate steps can be taken to ensure the safety of all involved.
Who Cleans Up Sewage?
The responsibility of sewage cleanup falls on the homeowner, landlord, or property manager. Depending on the terms of the lease agreement and/or the insurance policy for the property, there may be some wiggle room in who pays for the costs associated with sewage cleanup. Still, ultimately it’s up to whoever owns or occupies the property to take action. If a tenant rents a home from a landlord and there is an issue with any kind of plumbing backup, then it’s best to reach out to them first before taking any additional steps.
Paying for the cleanup and actually conducting the sewage cleanup is different. Unless a licensed professional, a person should never clean up a sewage spill. As previously mentioned, sewage is full of harmful bacteria and microorganisms that could cause serious health threats. Plus, it’s just a terrible job to do alone if you don’t know what you’re doing. Sewage also needs to be disposed of properly, and without the knowledge of where to dump, how to dispose of sewage, and supplies needed, you may be setting yourself up for further disaster.
Don’t clean up sewage alone. Call us.
Sewage Exposure is Harmful
Sewage is no joke, and a professional sewage cleanup team will use serious chemicals to ensure that your living space doesn’t make residents sick. We have noted a couple times in this blog that sewage has bacteria in it — but it’s important to realize how and what we mean by “harmful”.
Exposure to sewage can cause:
- E. coli
- Typhoid fever
- Intestinal viruses
- Lung infections
- And more
Conducting Sewage Cleanup By Yourself
In short: very small spills can be manageable on your own. Large sewage spills should always be handled by a professional. When dealing with sewage cleanup, it’s important that proper safety precautions are taken. If this is a small spill, cleaning up alone requires wearing protective clothing such as masks and gloves. Keep children and pets away from any contaminated areas. It’s also important that any standing water in the affected area is removed within 24-48 hours of initial contamination due to potential mold growth otherwise.
If you do come into contact with sewage, make sure to:
- Was hands thoroughly before touching your face or eating — even if you used gloves
- Keep your fingernails short and scrub under your fingernails
- Bathe immediately and scrub your skin with body-safe disinfectant soap
- Report any illness relating to the sewage spill immediately
Although disgusting, small spills might not seem like that big of a deal. We want to make sure you understand that they are. Sewage has the potential to cause life-threatening illness if not taken care of properly. If you have any doubts at all in cleaning up sewage, do not risk it. Call for help and save yourself the trouble of disease.
When to Hire Help for a Sewage Cleanup
If you are dealing with contaminants like raw sewage or chemicals, it may be in your best interest to hire a professional company that specializes in hazardous material removal and disposal. Not only will they have access to special equipment that can help contain these materials safely, but they will have the knowledge and license to dispose of the sewage itself.
A professional company specializing in sewage removal can give your space a second chance at life. Affected items will be discarded and/or removed from your property (including furniture and flooring), and all spaces will be thoroughly sanitized with bleach or another sanitizing solution.
As a homeowner, renter, or landlord it’s important to understand who is responsible for sewage cleanup so appropriate steps can be taken quickly when needed. Do not let sewage linger, even if it is outside of your immediate space. Taking all of these factors into consideration will help ensure everyone’s safety during such an unfortunate event.