Bacteria and Sewage
If there has been a smelly sewage (bacteria) backup from the street, toilet overflow, or wastewater leak , it needs to be professionally cleaned up.
The first thing to do is to isolate the areas where any type of water is seen. Try to keep people and animals out of the area so that foot traffic doesn’t spread the contamination. Call a professional abatement company. Your chosen abatement company should follow the national standard for bacterial removal which is the IICRC S500. The sooner the gross mess is cleaned up the less expensive it will be. When water is next to sheetrock, it will wick up about 1/4″ per hour. That means the sheetrock comes out; it can’t be cleaned. Also the longer moister is next to wood flooring or molding the more likely it is to buckle and need replacement. Toxic mold will grow on sheetrock and carpeting unless it is thoroughly dried. Mold growth can start between 24 to 72 hours after moisture is introduced.
The health-related issues with E.coli exposure are well documented. If you suspect a sewage leak or spill, preliminary testing can be performed to determine the presence of E.coli and/or Coliforms and the extent of the contamination. Preliminary asbestos and/or lead-based paint may be needed for repair work. Mold testing may also become applicable due to the saturation of building materials. We can provide sewage abatement validation reports. On more complex projects, clean-up directions with preliminary testing can also be provided.
After a sewage abatement (cleanup) and before the isolated areas are opened, bacterial testing should be performed to confirm the area can safely be re-occupied.
The form of E.coli bacteria that can be fatal lives in the intestines of some cows.
That’s why things like lettuce and other vegetables may contain 0157:H7 strain of E.coli. This strain causes 63,000 illnesses per year according to the CDC. In San Francisco we don’t have many cows relieving themselves in our water supply. We do buy vegetables from the Central Valley and elsewhere, that may have cow poo in the water used for irrigation.
Alway wash vegetables completely and thoroughly!!