Why do I Need Sewage Validation?
After a sewage spill and professional cleanup, it is recommended that a neutral third party perform E.coli and Coliforms testing in the cleaned and immediately surrounding areas. This testing with written report should follow the cleaning and before any containment or engineering controls are removed. No untrained persons should be allowed in the area until lab results confirm the success (absence of E.coli and coliforms) of the abatement or cleanup.
All cleanup or sewage abatement should follow the cleanup standards in the IICRC S500, outlined in this Wikipedia link. Please ask all contractors if they follow that standard.
Please used a trained abatement or remediation contractor to clean up sewage spills. A list of professional abatement and remediation contractors.
Why does some E.coli kill people and other strains of E.coli only cause intestinal “distress”?
The only E.coli that is pathogenic (may kill you) comes from the intestines of cows. So, when a farmer is growing, say, spinach, and is watering his crop from a shared water source (ditch) that has a neighbor raising cows upstream, and the workers decide to wash the spinach in the field with the ditch water, or the ditch water splashed onto the leaves we eat, then we have a problem. This should be a very quick example of why all fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed before eaten. This should not be understood to mean that human waste is something that a company like Merry Maids should clean up – it isn’t. So, if you experience a sewage spill, barricade the area and get professional help.