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Sewage damage can cause devastating problems in a home or office. It is completely unsafe to occupy a building that has been flooded with sewage unless the affected area is quarantined and sealed to prevent airflow from carrying contamination into other rooms. If sewage damage is not dealt with immediately it can cause serious long-term or even fatal health risks.

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If you own a home or business that has been affected by such damage, you can expect that everything within the damaged area will be unrecoverable. This is especially true with items that come into frequent contact with children or people with weakened immune systems.

Raw sewage is very dangerous because it carries thousands of parasites and pathogens that can cause serious infections and diseases. Sewage is made up of waste and excrement that harbors some of the following diseases:


  • Norwalk Virus – causes gastroenteritis
  • HPV (human papilloma virus) – known to cause genital warts and anal or cervical cancer
  • Rotavirus – causes fever and severe diarrhea
  • Adenoviruses –¬† pneumonia, bronchitis, croup, and respiratory and eye infections


  • Roundworm (Ascariasis) – blocks the intestinal track and causes chronic cough and shortness of breath
  • Tapeworm (Helmiths worm) – feeds on intestinal track and causes vitamin deficiencies, fatigue, and weight loss
  • Giardia – causes dehydration, diarrhea, malabsorption, and chronic weight loss
  • Cryptosporidiosis – life-threatening in immune-deficient patients

Bacterial Pathogens:

  • Campylobacter jejuni – can cause arthritis and Guillain-Barr Syndrome
  • E. coli (Escherichia coli) – causes fever, bloody diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
  • Salmonella – causes gastroenteritis, typhoid fever, and paratyphoid fever

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) offers strict guidelines for sanitizing areas and items that have been affected by


Sterilization and removal of items must be done by a professional sewage clean up company. Once the absorbent materials have been removed and the other items have been sterilized, a trained third-party industrial hygienist must be called to oversee the rest of the clean-up and verify that the premises is safe for reoccupation.

Mold and mildew prevention goes hand-in-hand with cleanup of sewage damage. Sewage often leaves damp areas which are a prime breeding ground for mold. If allowed to flourish, the mold can cause health problems long after the sewage treatment is completed. Contact a mold removal company if you have any questions or concerns about mold growth after sewage damage.

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