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Greywater Flooding vs Blackwater Flooding

Blackwater and Greywater are both types of dirty water. However, they differ because they are contaminated with different substances, and thus pose different health hazards. If your home or business becomes flooded you could be exposed to either greywater or blackwater depending on the source of the flood water, and you will need to take different precautions depending on which you encounter.

Blackwater Flooding

Blackwater refers to any water that has been contaminated by feces, bodily waste, chemicals, heavy metals or petroleum products. This is the water that gets flushed down your toilets, and is also sometimes referred to as brown water. Black water contains bacteria that is potentially harmful to both humans and their pets, so contact should be avoided. If you need to touch or wade through contaminated areas be sure to wear rubber boots and gloves. If your clothing becomes contaminated you should remove it as soon as possible and store it in a bag or other container until washing, and be sure to wash it as soon as possible. Wash your skin immediately if you come in contact with contaminated water. Avoid breathing the air around blackwater as it can also contain harmful contaminates. Do not attempt to deal with a blackwater flood by yourself. A professional restoration team is needed in order to safely remove the water, decontaminate the area and assess the building for structural damage.

If your home or business has experienced overland flooding treat all water like it is blackwater. You have no way of knowing what the water might be contaminated with.

Greywater Flooding

Greywater is the dirty water generated by general business and household activities such as doing laundry, bathing, and washing dishes. This type of water is not contaminated by human or animal waste or other extremely harmful substances but it should still be treated with caution. Wear boots and gloves if you need to come in contact with contaminated water, and wash skin and clothes as soon as possible. You should also work to clean up greywater as soon as possible by hiring a professional restoration team. Greywater that is left to sit can quickly become blackwater, increasing the contamination level of the whole area.  

If your home or business has experienced flooding because of a broken washing machine, a broken dishwasher or a burst pipe the water is most likely greywater.This water is visibly dirty as oppose to clean water (such as the water that flows from your taps) which is visibly clear. When in doubt always err on the side of caution and take as many precautions as you can.

24/7 Restoration uses their extensive training and expertise in restoring homes and businesses that have been damaged by flooding. If you would like more information on flood damage cleanup and water removal in Calgary contact us today at 403.247.4365.

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