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Sanitary Sewer Overflows Create Hazardous Conditions for Building Occupants

When a sanitary sewer overflows occur in Puerto Rico, the experts at Zimmetry Environmental provide indoor environmental solutions.

Bayamon, Puerto Rico – WEBWIRE

Zimmetry provides consulting and testing services to make sure these situations are properly handled and do not create an ongoing health threat.

Sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) can happen in everything from multimillion dollar beachfront homes and luxury hotels to office buildings and schools.  These unpleasant events occur every day in Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean.
When a SSO happens, it can cause raw sewage to flow into buildings resulting in extensive damage and the risk of disease for people in the area.  Sewage often contains an array of chemical and microbial contaminants and pathogenic organisms.  These contaminants soak into porous building materials and can be an immediate potential threat to building occupants. 
For those unfortunate enough to have this occur in their home or place of business, there are environmental and health and safety concerns that need to be addressed.  They include the following contaminants:

  • Mold can be present in the sewage and the flooding event can allow existing mold to begin to grow in as short as 24 to 48 hours.  Mold can cause allergies, trigger asthma and cause infections.
  • A host of bacteria is naturally present in sewage.  Bacteria such as E. coli and others can have a devastating impact on people who come in contact with the microorganisms.  Some of these bacteria may also produce dangerous endotoxins.
  • Viruses are frequently found in sewage.  These infectious agents are a threat to anyone who comes in contact with them.
  • Parasites are commonly found in sewage.  Active parasites, or their eggs, can potentially infect people.
  • Protozoa may also be present.  This diverse group of organisms includes many that can cause human disease.
  • Numerous chemicals, such as household cleaning agents or industrial compounds, could be present in sewage. 

“Sanitary sewer overflows can be caused by many factors,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental.  “They are typically associated with sewer pipe blockages that may have been caused by pipe breaks or cracks due to tree roots, system deterioration, insufficient system capacity and construction mishaps.  Whatever the cause, it is important that the soiled areas are thoroughly cleaned and remediated.  Zimmetry provides consulting and testing services to make sure these situations are properly handled and do not create an ongoing health threat.”
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their indoor air quality, environmental and compliance consulting services, please visit, call (787) 995.0005 or email .
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies.  The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America.  The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.

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