Sewage and Water Intrusion Environmental Health Testing

A serious threat to human health exists when a building is contaminated with sewage.  Gastrointestinal illnesses, infections, and other adverse health effects can result from the ingestion or inhalation of infected materials.  Sewage or “Black Water” can occur from septic lines backing up or flooding of a building that involves sewage or a heavy load of organic matter from a flooding river.  Extensive damage to building materials can occur if appropriate action is not taken in a timely manner.  A quick response will prevent extensive permeation and contamination of absorbent materials, such as wood, gypsum drywall, paper and other construction materials.  Penetration with water and organic matter (sewage, black water) can potentially lead to growth of disease and infection causing microorganisms or pathogens.

Upon completion of the cleanup activities, Higgins recommends a post cleaning evaluation that includes checking the effectiveness of the cleaning and disinfection processes by the restoration contractor and sampling for certain bacteria and other microbial contaminants.  ANSI/IICRC S500, Chapter 3- Health Effects from Indoor Exposure to Microbial Contamination in Water Damaged Buildings recommends a final inspection and post-cleaning/disinfecting sampling to verify restoration and remediation effectiveness in the areas affected by the contamination.

Higgins offers the following services:

  • Conduct initial site evaluation, hazard assessment, and set up sampling plan;
  • ATP sanitation monitoring to provide objective, actionable, and traceable test results;
  • Environmental infection control contractor oversight during remediation activities;
  • Collect post remediation samples (surface and bulk post cleaning and disinfection);
  • Interpretation of field sampling and lab analytical results & preparation of a written report.