Types of Contaminated Water

There are three major categories of contaminated water. Depending on the source and type of flooding, the flood water could possibly by very dangerous and pose a serious health risk. Carsons Restoration's professionals will be able to determine the type of water and plan the appropriate response to make sure the cleanup is successful.

Below you will find a list of the major types of contaminated water:

  1. Category 1 Water:

    This water would be considered "fresh, clean water". Coming from a source that does not cause harm to humans, in situations where there is flood damage in a building, one likely source is a damaged water heater.

  2. Category 2 Water:

    Or mildly contaminated water. This water contains a significant amount of contamination. Also known as "gray water" This type of water has the potential of causing discomfort or sickness. Washing machine water, or ground water resulting from a broken sump pump is usually mildly contaminated water, and may contain elevated levels of bacteria - but levels not high enough to pose an immediate health risk to humans or pets. Category 2 water may contain the following contaminants:

    • Fungi, bacteria, viruses or algae
    • Chemicals
    • Physical Hazards

    If untreated, many types of Category 2 water can become Category 3 within 48 hours.

  3. Category 3 Water:

    This water is also known as "Black Water", it is severly contaminated water containing levels of bacteria and / or pathogens that can pose an immediate health risk to humans and pets. Black water is unsanitary and should be considered extremely dangerous. Category 3 water may contain the following contaminants:

    • Feces
    • Rotten Food Products
    • Sewage
    • Bacteria

You should always immediately contact a Water Damage Specialist when dealing with flooding of any type, but if you suspect that the flood water may be contaminated, it is crictical that it is treated as an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. Even a small amount of contaminated flood water can be a severe health risk, especially for young children and the elderly.