The Categories of Water
According to the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certificate), there are three basic categories of water damage which are based on the level of contamination:
Category 1 Water – Classified as “clean water”. It refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans. Those would include overflow of tub and sinks broken water supply lines, tub, water supply lines such as the toilet, washing machine or ice maker line.
Category 2 Water – Known as “grey water”. Cat 2 water contains a significant level of chemical, biological, or physical contaminants and causes sickness when consumed or even exposed to. Cat 2 carries microorganisms. Examples are toilet bowls with urine (no feces) that overflows, sump pump failures, seepage, and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.
Category 3 Water – The dreaded "black water" and is grossly contaminated. This water contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria, and fungi, causing severe sickness. Black water sources will affect the indoor environment. This category includes water sources from sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, storm surge, ground surface water or standing water.
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