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Cleaning indoor sewage spills

Thorough cleaning of indoor sewage spills is necessary to protect people—especially small children—from harmful bacteria and viruses. Clean-up should begin as soon as possible to reduce the risk of exposure to sewage.

Clean up tips

  • Keep children and pets out of the area.
  • Wear rubber gloves and boots.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and launder clothes separately after clean-up.
  • Remove all furniture, loose rugs, etc. from the area.
  • Saturated wall-to-wall carpeting (and pad) should be removed, wrapped in plastic, and taken to a transfer station or sanitary landfill. If you wish to keep carpeting, hire a licensed carpet cleaning company to steam clean and disinfect carpet.
  • All hard surfaces such as linoleum, hardwood floors, concrete, wood moldings, wood, and metal furniture, etc. should be cleaned with hot water and mild detergent (dish soap), and then rinsed with a bleach solution: one tbsp of liquid household bleach to one gallon of water. Let air dry.
  • Have upholstered furniture, loose rugs, drapery, etc. professionally cleaned.
  • Remove and replace saturated and soft to the touch plaster, plasterboard, and lath. If only the surface is wet, clean as you would a hard surface, but do not saturate.
  • Clean sinks, dishwashers, and other plumbing fixtures that have had sewage back-up with detergent, and then rinse with bleach solution.
  • Disinfect clean-up mops, brooms, and brushes with bleach solution.
  • Increase air circulation to reduce odors and mold growth: open windows and doors and/or use fans and heaters to speed this process