Why Is Flood Water Called Black Water?
Black water is a term used to refer to Category 3 water damage. This grossly contaminated water may contain solid waste and other harmful substances. Learn more about Category 3 water and why flood damage calls for cleaning and disinfecting.
Categories of Water Contamination
Restoration professionals classify damage involving water into three categories. The scale ranges from clean water to highly contaminated water:
• Category 1 water is clean and treated.
• Category 2 water, or gray water, is contaminated but does not contain solid waste.
• Category 3 water, or black water, is highly contaminated and may contain solid waste.
The most common cause of Category 1 damage is a supply line break. Category 2 water often originates from an appliance or shower overflow. A flood or sewer backup can result in Category 3 water damage.
Contaminants in Category 3 Water
Category 3 water may originate from heavy rains, rising bodies of surface water or overflowing sewer mains. Water from any of these sources is exposed to many contaminants:
- Heavy metals
Damage restoration experts recommend wearing personal protective equipment, such as waterproof boots, gloves and even hip waders, when cleaning up this type of damage.
Risks Associated With Contaminated Water
Contaminated water has all of the contents necessary for microbes and fungi to thrive. Standing water can lead to mold growth within 24 to 48 hours. Homeowners should document damage and extract standing water as soon as possible to limit risks of infection and mold.
A homeowner dealing with Category 3 water damage should consider seeking professional assistance. Within hours or days, damage mitigation and restoration experts can eliminate standing water and clean and disinfect the affected portions of a residence in Ozone Park, NY. These specialists can also recommend whether to clean porous building materials and contents or to throw them away to reduce the risk of recontamination.