Black Water Flood Damage

In this comprehensive post, we'll go over the following;

Black Water Flood Damage

You'll learn;

  • What Black Water is,
  • Where it Comes From,
  • How Rock Emergency can help you,

So if you've ever asked yourself any of these questions, you'll love this post!


Rock Emergency leads the Black Water Damage Restoration industry in the Rochester, NY, area. Our team has completed all IICRC, HAZWOPER 40, and Dewald Academy of Drying certifications. When it comes to black water flood damage, our team is the one to call.

Keep reading about black water flood damage sources and how we can remediate them for you!

Three Categories of Water

Category 1

Shower head with water coming out

Category 1 water damage is considered clean and easy to manage. This type of water is safe, drinkable, and uncontaminated. Clean water can be dried out quickly.

Category 2

soap overflowing washing machine

Category 2 water damage is slightly contaminated and can come from a leaking dishwasher or washing machine. Gray water can be dangerous if not addressed promptly.

Category 3


Category 3 water is highly contaminated and can lead to serious illness, disease, and infection. This type of water is the most dangerous and should be cleaned and removed by professionals as soon as possible.


Any object that has been contaminated with black water should be considered as damaged and harmful as the water itself. Black water is full of bacteria and pathogens that harm humans, animals, and the ecosystem. Blackwater also often contains chemicals that are equally as bad.

This type of water doesn't necessarily mean “black water”; it also means raw sewage or sewage water. Water damage of this type can be hazardous if not handled properly. Additionally, it doesn't only imply warped floorboards or ruined carpets but also harmful bacteria seeping into every crack.

Sources of Black Water Damage

Black water can come from a variety of sources. Some of you might not be aware that it could contain black water. Sadly, sometimes the water might look clean and not have an odor that represents the “sewage” smell. Check out our list of familiar sources of black water below.


The toilet, which is one of the most apparent sources of black water, is generally thought of as a biohazard, particularly when people are sick: it could carry bacteria and pathogens that could be passed on to others with improper handling.

Washing Machines

Black water can contain a lot of pharmaceuticals, especially if it comes from a home where someone is sick. Even laundry water from a sick person's house can be considered black water because it can contain airborne bacteria and pathogens. The laundry water becomes a biohazard risk if someone is sick in your home.

Dishwashers / Kitchen Sinks

Kitchen sinks and dishwashers can be a source of black water, which can contain germs and bacteria. If your kitchen sink or dishwasher overflows, it can result in the same contamination as a toilet overflow. Water left in a dirty sink can quickly become black water, as food chunks and grease provide perfect conditions for bacteria to grow.

Sewer Lines

The sewage system runs waste from your home and away for processing. Human waste will contaminate your home or property when the sewers overflow or get clogged.

Flood Disasters

Blackwater damage is most often caused by groundwater flooding or sewage waste. After a flood, the water is contaminated with everything from fertilizer to sewage. This water is full of microbes, and biohazardsWater damage restoration professionals must treat all floodwaters like black water.

Any large-scale flooding that includes seawater, rising water from rivers or lakes, or water that enters a building due to weather events is automatically characterized as blackwater. 

If you think your home is flooding with sewage or blackwater, don't try to fix it yourself. Contact a professional water restoration expert like Rock Emergency.

Black Water Flood Damage Risks

Flooding emergencies involving blackwater are the most dangerous and destructive. The water is grossly unsanitary, and porous and absorbent items like carpets, upholstery, and drywall are often unsalvageable.

Contact with blackwater can cause illness in humans and pets. Anything that has come into contact with black water must be removed to prevent potential infection.

If not appropriately treated, black water can damage entire ecosystems. Never pour it into the ground, as this could lead to a cycle of contamination. Pathogens in contaminated water can be harmful to plants. Remember to give your garden water as clean as your drinking water.

In addition to the risk of injury to your home, any water damage can lead to mold growth if the problem isn't addressed within 24 to 48 hours. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn that exposure to Category 3 water can cause a variety of diseases and disorders, including:

Skin rashes

Infectious hepatitis

Infections (GI, Respiratory, Skin)

Bacterial Infections (Leptospirosis, E. coli)

Diarrhea (Dysentery, Campylobacter, Crypto, Giardia)

Black Water Flood Damage Restoration

black water flood damage restoration equipment

Home and business owners should address water damage immediately. If you wait, it will only get more complicated and expensive. The only way to remove and clean a black water-damaged home or business is to decontaminate it thoroughly. This should only be done by trained professionals, as trying to do it yourself could further spread the water and the danger.

With black water damage, it is essential to carefully inspect the situation and use specialized equipment to remediate the contamination. A licensed restoration professional can sanitize and dry the affected areas properly.

After inspecting the damage, the cleaning technician decides what restoration process to use. They ensure that everyone involved is safe by requiring them to wear gloves, boots, and respirators.

Our professional team will remove the excess water quickly to prevent further damage. Additionally, they will remove the sewage, waste, and contaminated items. Next, air scrubbers or negative air machines will be used to prevent unaffected areas from getting infected.

Once the contaminated items are removed, they will clean and sanitize the remaining affected surfaces with approved disinfectants.

Once the sanitization process is complete, the technicians develop a balanced drying system to restore the affected areas to their pre-disaster state. Various equipment, such as high-powered air movers and professional-grade dehumidifiers, will be used.

If it involves wood floors, replacing your wardrobe, or repainting your walls, the final step is the complete restoration of your house or company.

It is unsafe for people to try to clean up black water in the Rochester area - this should be left to professionals. Rock Emergency provides 24/7 professional black water restoration services. Please don’t wait to take care of it; we’re in this together and will ensure you and your property is safe.

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