Not all water is the same. The water that invades our homes comes from many sources and passes through different materials, sometimes taking with it unwanted and undesirable elements. The unwelcome water in our home can be generally divided into three categories. Before we identify these three divisions we need to give a few words of explanation. The divisions between these three types of water is not always well defined and sometimes the water can be in various stages or between categories. And last of all, water rarely stays in the category that it started in as it continues to deteriorate. Now that you understand this, let’s examine the three types, divisions, or categories, of water that might invade our home:
1. Clean Water. This is simply drinkable water, at least when it left the pipes. It has no harsh or harmful chemicals that might pose an immediate danger to the health of inhabitants that might come into contact with it. Again, keep in mind that this water could have passed through some materials that may leach some harmful elements into it. Or, as time passes, bacteria could build up in it causing it to deteriorate into a more dangerous type. But for the sake of this brief report we will leave it with this definition; Water that has come from a clean and potable source and has not been contaminated. This water may come from a burst pipe or a supply hose to a washing machine or dishwasher. Obviously this is the safest type of water to remove and poses the least amount of health hazards.
2. Gray Water. This type of water is unsanitary and contains a degree of contamination that would cause someone substantial discomfort or sickness if consumed. It contains harmful microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms. Examples of this would be the discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, broken aquariums, water from punctured water beds and the like. This water is dangerous to your family’s health and should be addressed by a trained professional. Allowing several hours or days to pass before this type of water is addressed will cause this type of water to progress to the next category.
3. Black Water. This water is grossly contaminated and always contains pathogenic or very harmful elements. Examples of this type of water are, sewer back up, seawater, ground surface water, rising water from streams or rivers. Black water can contain harmful chemicals, pesticides or medical wastes. Do not attempt to handle this type of water or stay in contact with it. Do not attempt any emergency measures yourself that will cause you or your loved ones to come in contact with this very dangerous water. Immediately call a competent, professional water damage restoration firm that is properly trained and has the right equipment to safely and effectively restore your home.
We trust that this brief explanation has helped you to see the importance of knowing the type of water that is in your home and what precautions you should take if you have gray or black water present.