What is a Category 3 Water Intrusion
A water intrusion where the water is grossly contaminated is referred to in the water mitigation and restoration industry as a Category 3 water intrusion. Highly contaminated water is extremely unsanitary, carries pathogens which are disease causing. Another term for Category 3 water is black water. A Category 3 water intrusion can originate from a toilet discharge that originates beyond the toilet trap. This is known as sewage and originates from the septic system. Another lesser known Category water intrusion can come from the surface of ground water that intrudes inside a building. This type of water is mostly seen in flood waters, but can occur from a large rain or thunderstorm where water intrudes inside the structure.
Due to the health effects of a Category 3 water intrusion, restorers must wear appropriate proper protective equipment to protect themselves from the health effects associated with mitigating this type of water intrusion. Safety is not only important for the restorer but also for the occupants of the building. People with compromised immune systems, young children and the elderly are at higher risk to suffering health related effects by coming in contact with Category 3 water.
In order to properly mitigate a category 3 water intrusion all porous materials must be removed which includes, carpet, underlayment or pad, drywall, and insulation. Proper cleaning solutions that kill microorganisms and pathogens must be used to sanitize the surface of all nonporous materials. Category 3 water intrusions are not to be taken lightly and should be reserved for professionals.