Types of Water Damage

Category 1: Clean Water

This is defined as water that originates from a sanitary water source and does not pose substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure.

Sources of Clean Water:

  • Supply lines
  • Water heater bursts
  • Falling rain water
  • Faulty ice machine
  • Faulty Lines

Although the water does not pose a danger to the occupant, ESR always recommends a rapid clean up to prevent secondary damages from occurring.

Category 2: Grey Water

This is defined as water that contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. Category 2 losses can contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms, or nutrients for microorganisms.

Sources of Grey Water:

  • Washing machines & dishwashers
  • Toilet overflows
  • Drain lines
  • Sump pump failure

Gray water losses can pose a hazardous situation to occupants. ESR recommends only trained, certified technicians handle this type of loss.

Category 3: Black Water

is defined as water that is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, and or other harmful agents.

Harmful Agents Including:

  • Infectious Hepatitis B And C
  • Acute respiratory trouble
  • Enteroviral Carditis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Skin rashes
  • Tetanus

Sources of Highly Contaminated Water:

  • Sewage
  • Toilet backflows originating behind the trap
  • Rising river water
  • etc

Category 3 water can pose substantial heath risks to the occupant. ESR recommends using only technicians who have been certified and trained in how to perform this type of mitigation. In a sewage loss, there can up be to 120 different viruses and bacteria in the water.

Accessing Sewage Damage


Our technicians are trained to safely clean and remove hazardous substances and dispose of them properly in accordance with government, OSHA and health regulations.

To prevent exposure to dangerous pathogens, anything in your home that has been touched by Category 3 water must be removed.

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