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Sewage Backup Portland: You’re in Trouble When There’s Urine in the Reservoir?

Published by 911 Restoration Portland on August 1, 2014 in category: Current Event, Sewage Backup Cleanup

Portland takes its drinking water very, very seriously. Just a few months ago, a teenager was caught and charged with both public urination and trespassing. yelloThis normally wouldn’t be the end of the world, but this young man chose to urinate into one of the city’s reservoirs which at the time held roughly 35 million gallons of water. This water had been treated and was in active use. City officials originally decided to drain the reservoir. Though the plan was later changed, this points to the general widespread feeling people have when human waste in any way enters their water supply or their home. The decision to drain the reservoir was ultimately an overreaction, but when waste enters your property in the form of a sewage backup it’s necessary to freak out a little. Raw sewage is extremely dangerous and should only be cleaned up by a certified sewage backup company that knows how to use the proper tools and take the right precautions to keep you safe.

Urine in the Water Supply vs. Black Water in Your Home

I think we can all agree that urine in a city’s clean water supply is simply gross and unpleasant. With the exception of astronauts and perhaps a small marginalized group of freethinking individuals, no one wants to drink pee even if it has been purified, treated and deemed safe for consumption. The truth of the matter is that one man’s bladder, even if it was positively filled to capacity with cheap beer and god knows what else, is not a threat when dispersed in 35 million gallons of water. Open air reservoirs take in waste from birds and other animals all the time. Plus we’re talking about a urine concentration of 3 parts per billion. The Environmental Protection Agency allows more than three times that amount of arsenic to be present in our drinking water (thanks EPA!). Cooler heads prevailed, and instead of draining the water it was diverted to another reservoir where it will continue to undergo tests.

The initial reaction most people have to a sewage backup is similar to the urine in the reservoir. The desire to get rid of it right away is strong. The difference, however, is that while the trace amount of urine was harmless the black water bubbling up onto your bathroom floor is not. Black water introduces dangerous pathogens into your environment. Exposure can lead to vomiting and other unpleasant symptoms that will pass in a few days, but there is also the risk of contracting a serious infection or disease that could prove fatal.

Get Professional Help

If you experience any kind of sewage backup steer clear and call a professional sewage backup and cleanup crew for help. Don’t risk your health and try to deal with the mess yourself. Instead, grab a nice tall glass of tap water, enjoy that first safe sip and relax. Your home will be safe and clean before you know it.

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