Sewage Spill, Midlands Summary
Client: Owner of a new-build Midlands office
• Leaking sewage undiscovered for weeks
• Health danger to staff and adjoining properties
• Multi-stage clean up and sanitisation
• ATP tested and certified result
The cause of a raw sewage spill that happened outdoors in the Midlands can often be hard to detect, but when a raw sewage spill or backup occurs in a commercial or residential property, it soon becomes apparent. And it can even occur in a brand new building, as was the case for this office in Tamworth, Staffordshire.
The team from Ideal Response were alerted when the strong and unpleasant smell became all-too-noticeable to staff in the toilet area of the office. The challenge was to identify the cause and extent of the problem, rapidly clean up the sewage spill that happened in the Midlands which was hazardous to human health, and sanitise the affected office area without causing disruption to the staff’s work. The building owner wisely chose for the sewage leak to be quickly cleared by properly-equipped, certified professionals.
The Ideal Solution
Ideal were quickly on the site, after the building contractor had lifted an area of the tiled flooring to expose the contaminated area. We diagnosed the problem as a sewage pipe connector which had not been correctly connected during construction, and this had caused sewage to leak beneath the floating floor over a number of weeks, since the tiling had masked the issue.
During the clean up, the Ideal team also discovered that the issue was not confined to the area of floor that had been lifted, and we managed the process of having more floating floor lifted to ensure we could completely clean and sanitise all affected areas during a second visit.
Our team began the cleaning process with ‘wet vac’ vacuum equipment that is suitable for sewage spill removal. The vacuum is connected to the main sewage waste pipe so that all raw sewage can be directed back into the main waste pipe. Once all the waste was cleared, the team moved on to cleaning and decontaminating the whole area to the highest of standards, with 100% decontamination and odour elimination guaranteed.
As well as the risk to health, raw sewage obviously has a very unpleasant smell which if not treated professionally can linger for a long time. This can cause disruption to work routines and may even force employees to work from home. In the case of this Midlands office, the Ideal team ensured that a fresh and safe workplace was quickly restored, and the new-build was as clean, or cleaner, than the day it opened.
The Health Hazards of Leading Sewage
Sewage doesn’t just create a mess and smell. It’s a major source of harmful micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses and parasistes – all of which professional cleaning is designed to eradicate. Acting quickly once a sewage spill or leakage is detected is important: exposure to sewage can result in many human illnesses such as gastroenteritis, Weil’s disease (a flu-like illness), hepatitis, asthma, or eye and skin infections.
These infections take place by hand-to-mouth contact or by skin contact through cuts or scratches, and even by breathing in particles as dust or mist. That’s why the Ideal Response team always wear suitable personal protective equipment, including waterproof gloves, footwear, respiratory protection and face visors.
Sewage overflows are typically caused by damaged or blocked plumbing, a sewerage system backflow, septic tank damage, or by floodwater carrying material. Whether the sewage spill is inside or out, if there is a private water source nearby, it should not be used until it is checked for contamination. The Ideal team can provide further support and advice if you believe you have an issue with sewage.
How to Clean Up Sewage Spill Indoors
The Ideal Response Team used a multistage cleaning processes for the area affected. This structured approach to decontamination, clearing, cleaning and disinfecting is the most effective way to ensure a professional result.
After multistage cleaning, we apply state-of-the-art BIOSWEEP® technology to ensure the total eradication of harmful micro-organisms. This process delivers the maximum results within the minimum possible time, ensuring the least disruption to residents of affected interiors.
The process takes between three to twelve hours, depending on the severity of the situation. Once the clean up is completed the environment will be 100% clear and free of any unpleasant odours. That’s because our specialists fully remove surface and airborne bacteria, which kills off any malodorous smells.
As well as being ideal for neutralising the effects of a sewage spill by eliminating bacteria, and pathogens, we also deploy BIOSWEEP® against viruses, mould spores, fungal hyphae, VOCs and smoke odours.
For this new build office, we also offered an assessment for enabling and drying works, which the building’s owner decided to undertake for themselves.
ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) testing was also carried out on site. The presence of ATP on a surface indicates the presence of contamination such as food residues, allergens or bacteria, and the latter was particularly relevant to a sewage spill. We use ATP testing to confirm that our cleaning procedures have been effective and that ATP has been eliminated or minimized, In this case, we could validate to our customer that the sewage clean up was successful and that all affected areas are no longer a health hazard.
Finally, following ATP Testing, we provide certification of the effectiveness of our entire deep clean process.