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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Why Is Water Caused by a Storm Considered Black?

6/16/2018 (Permalink)

When there is a flood in your commercial building in Layton, UT, you can see the water that fills your building is clearly not black. Yet, when you hear the commercial storm damage restoration team talk, they keep mentioning black water. What does this mean? The term "black" does not necessarily have anything to do with the color of the waters. Instead, it refers to the contamination level. Flooding can fall into three categories:

• Category One: Clean
• Category Two: Gray
• Category Three: Black

Each denotes the level of contamination in the water with clean being uncontaminated and black being highly contaminated. Floods caused by a storm are considered category three.


Storm-caused water damage may be contaminated because it includes river run off. As the storm rages on, the rivers may rise above their banks and mix with the rest of the water. This excess moisture can find its way onto your property. Because the water may have traveled over fields full of pesticides and other harsh chemicals, it may be contaminated. Some rivers have naturally occurring microbes and spores that could also affect the categorization of your flooding.


Sometimes the floods causing water damage to your building are not only full of chemicals but also feces, sewage and other microbes. These unwanted additions to the water comes when the sewage backs up. This often happens during a storm because of the rising water table. When the water table is too high, the sewage cannot go where it normally does. Instead, it has to come up through your pipes and into your building.

When the flooding in your building is categorized as black water, it simply means the water could be full of microbes, feces and other potentially dangerous chemicals. This type of water damage has to be taken care of quickly and carefully if you want to avoid maximum damage to your commercial building.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROlaytonkaysville.com.

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