Be aware that there are many people who do not follow the strict guidelines in the industry standard of care when dealing with raw sewage and can leave a structure less than sanitary when addressing a backup. We are aware of many businesses, including doctor’s offices, which suffered a sewage backup from the street and only had the carpets cleaned while continuing to operate like nothing ever happened. Keep this in mind as well when going on vacation in our area and there is malodor of waste.
If you are on a septic system, Make sure you have insurance coverage for this—even if it is just a rider.
If you have renters, make sure that your septic tank is pumped each year. Do not flush non-biodegradable materials, nor kitty litter, nor grease into a septic system.
Do not attempt to clean this up yourself. There are ample stories where an exposed person died when they came in contact with raw human waste, sometimes within minutes of exposure. If this happens, whatever the waste touches is unsalvageable. Regardless. No doubt. Don’t even ask to keep it.
This is what we do in a septic cleanup job. If any of these conditions exist, protocol requires the encapsulation the porous components (if it cannot be cut out.) Encapsulation is a film forming coating that does not allow moisture to move in or out of it and does not allow microbial infestation in an area conducive to amplification from rewetting in the future.
- Full PPE suit up: boots, gloves, full face respirators, hoods; carry rags with anti-microbial cleaners
- Spray antimicrobial on all affected areas and on raw sewage to help sanitize work area
- Pack out and throw away anything that has been touched by the biohazardous contamination.
- Muck out large affluence manually
- Wet the area down with water
- Vacuum liquid up with HEPPA wet/dry vacuum system
- Continue to flush with water and vacuum up until clean (muck out)
- Treat work area with wet antimicrobial products
- Remove affected building components down to non-removable structural components
- Apply regimen of anti-microbial, anti-bacterial remediation products to sanitize structure
- Once sanitized, place dehumidification and air mover equipment on work site to dry
- Difficult sanitizing conditions require additional work:
- If work area contains non-removable building components which are semi-porous (subfloor, framing, wall cavities, etc.)
- if there are difficult bound moisture issues (multiple layers of building components)
- if occupants may be exposed to the work area
- work areas that are hard to get to for cleaning
- if work area is subject to re-wetting in the future