Sewer Back Up

Gray Water vs. Black Water and When to Call for Help with Backups

Sewer backup is something that no one wants to deal with, but it happens all too often. If you find yourself facing any kind of flooding or backup in your home, your first step (after stopping the inflow of water) is to assess the damage and determine whether you need to call for help. Part of that comes in knowing what kind of water backup you’re dealing with. 

In the plumbing and sewage world, there are three types of water:

  • Clean water (sometimes called white water)
  • Gray water
  • Black water

The first one is self-explanatory, so in this guide, we’ll take a look at the other two and help you decide when to call for help. 

Gray Water 

Gray water is water that has been used by appliances in the home, but may not be contaminated. This includes the shower, bathtub, sinks, and washing machine. This water is technically dirty and used, but it’s not likely to be filled with bacteria or viruses like sewage backup would. 

You still want to limit contact with gray water, and with any standing water in your home, because you never know what’s there. However, the risk here isn’t as prevalent and the need for professional intervention may not be imminent. 

Black Water 

Black water refers to sewage and water from those sources. Black water usually comes from toilets and sewer systems and can back up into homes because of a sewer issue or even heavy rains. Black water is heavily contaminated and may contain any manner of pathogens and viruses that can cause serious illnesses and even death. 

Black water sewer backup needs to be addressed immediately. You should:

  • Contact an emergency plumber right away
  • Leave the premises to get away from dangerous sewer gases and odors 
  • Not return until the sewage has been cleaned up and the space has been disinfected

Contact Sewer and Plumbing Experts 

If you are dealing with any kind of water or sewer backup, a prompt resolution will prevent further damage and potential dangers to your family. No matter what kind of issues you’re facing, contact Elk Grove Village Sewer & Plumbing, they can help you resolve the backup issues and get your plumbing back in working order so that your home is safe and habitable once again. 

Elk Grove Village Sewer & Plumbing

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