Stay Safe: Understanding the Categories of Water Contamination
There are few amenities as easy to take for granted as clean water, but also few amenities more damaging to be without. From maintaining hydration to hygiene, access to clean water is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, access to clean water is not universal and many are exposed to contaminated water. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) classifies water into three tiers:
1. Clean water
2. Water that is contaminated
3. Sewer and outside flood water
It is important to understand these classifications in order to properly assess the safety of a water source.
Category 1 – Clean, Safe Water.
The highest classification is reserved for water from sources that pose no significant health risk. When using water from this category, it is important to ensure that the water has not become contaminated from an outside source elsewhere in the supply line, such as traveling through unclean pipes or being stored in a dirty receptacle.
Category 2 – Contaminated Water.
Water that carries potential risks is classified as category 2. Due to exposure to high levels of microorganisms, category 2 water should be avoided as it can lead to irritation or illness. Although ingestion of category 2 water is an obvious risk, it is also inadvisable to come in contact with this water as well, such as using it for cleaning, as the pollutants contained within it may not require ingestion to cause illness.
Category 3 – Septic and Outdoor Water.
The most polluted water is classified as category 3, and it carries extremely high levels of potentially harmful elements. The most common form of contamination leading to this classification is backed up toilet water, known as black water; however, septic water can also be caused by the introduction of unclean outside water sources into the supply line.
Exposure to contaminated water is a hazard, and cleaning it up is something that should not be put off to a later date once it’s identified. When unsafe water is discovered, it is important to contact a restoration professional in Ebensburg, PA, promptly. The professional can assess the contamination, identify the source of the pollution, and clean up the problem to once again restore access to healthy water.
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