Don’t Cry Over Spilled Sewage
Sewage is inevitable; however, keeping it properly contained is tricky business!!!
Sewage is commonly known as sewage (POOP), sewage sludge, black or gray water, or septic tank waste. Raw (untreated) sewage is mainly liquid containing excrement, including feces, toilet paper, feminine products and items that have passed through the sanitary sewer system. Causes of sewer overflows can be from sediment, food grease, wipes, paper towels, root intrusion, or other debris build up in sewer pipes causing a plug, break or collapse. As a result sewage will back up and overflow onto the ground, sidewalk or street from a sewer clean out, a manhole, or directly from the broken line.
Exposure to sewage especially by children, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals can have serious health affects including Hepatitis, E-Coli, HIV and others. When there is a sewage overflow immediate action is required, as this is a Public Health “9-1-1”.
The following actions are required within 4 hours (in Clark County, NV);
Immediately isolate, contain, and barricade the affected area(s) (to prevent access by children, pets and the public).
- Arrange for a licensed plumber to stop the flow, make any and all necessary repairs to any deficient plumbing elements within four hours.
- Remediate all affected areas using the following methods:
- Remove all solid and semi-solid waste (feces, paper etc.) by double or triple bag and place sealed bag into waste container.
- For non porous surfaces (i.e. concrete/asphalt) disinfect by using a 10% bleach solution (1 part household bleach to 9 parts water).
- NOTE: Stronger solution is not better, as the bacteria cell walls will not absorb properly.
- For soil or gravel surfaces: apply “Type S concrete lime” 1/16th in” thick to the affected area, wet into the soil sufficiently to be absorbed. This will modify the soils pH therefore the bacteria will not thrive. Remove lime and soil after 24 hour contact time.
Written by Donna Houston