Potable water is also commonly known as tap water. This is water that you can safely drink or cook with straight out of the faucet. If the water line into the house breaks or leaks, the water that pours out is clean water. Water that is clean enough to drink is also safe to clean up. But beware — water left sitting can progress from potable water to gray water in under 48 hours. Depending on what contaminants the water picks up from the materials it makes contact with, previously safe water may become a health risk.
Gray water is water that has been used in your home for the bath, shower, hand washing, or another use with only minor contaminants. Laundry waste water from washing fabric diapers, for example, would not qualify as gray water. Similarly, whether water from the kitchen sink can be classified as gray water or black water will depend on what you have washed down the sink. Gray water can contain some contaminants. These could have a negative impact on your health, and the professional water restoration experts will be able to determine which materials can be salvaged and sanitized.
Black water is bad news. This name can be misleading, because black water may not look any different than gray or even potable water, but the unseen contaminants pose a huge health risk. Black water is anything that might contain fecal matter, hazardous chemicals, parasites, or other bacterial and microbial contamination. These can cause Hepatitis, Trachoma, Diarrhea, and a variety of other major health issues.
If you might have black water in your home, don’t put your health at risk. Call the professionals. At ServiceMaster Restoration Services, we are trained experts in water damage restoration and hazardous material cleanup. Our team has the expertise, training, and equipment to safely and thoroughly remove hazardous materials from your home and fully restore both the cleanliness and the health of your home.