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Sanitary Sewer Overflows Create More than Just Property Damage Concerns in Texas Homes & Buildings

Indoor Environmental Consultants (IEC) provides testing services to help identify and prevent exposure to pathogens and chemical contaminants in water-damaged properties.

Austin, TX – WEBWIRE

For anyone unfortunate enough to have this occur in their home or business, there are environmental, health, and safety concerns that need to be addressed in addition to the water damage.

Each year countless homes and businesses across Texas discover that they have suffered a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO).  When they occur they can spread raw sewage into basements, crawl spaces, and throughout a building.  In addition to causing extensive property damage, a sanitary sewer overflow can also create health concerns and spread disease.
Sanitary sewer overflows can be caused by many factors. 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, construction mishaps, and outdoor flooding events. 
“For anyone unfortunate enough to have this occur in their home or business, there are environmental, health, and safety concerns that need to be addressed in addition to the water damage,” said Hollis L. Horner, President of Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc. “This is due to the fact that sewage can host an array of chemical and microbial contaminants and pathogens.  These soak into porous building materials and can be an immediate potential threat to building occupants as well as any restoration workers hired to cleanup and repair the damage.”
The following contaminants are often associated with a sanitary sewer overflows:

  • Mold may be present in sewage, and moisture from an SSO can also allow mold already in the property to begin to grow in less than 48 hours when materials stay wet.
  • A host of bacteria is naturally present in sewage.  Bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, and others can cause disease and some types may also contain endotoxins.
  • Viruses are also frequently found in sewage and many are a human health concern.
  • Parasites, such as Giardia, are commonly found in sewage and can infect building occupants who touch contaminated materials and surfaces.
  • Protozoa may also be present.  This diverse group of organisms includes many that cause human disease.
  • Chemicals, including household cleaning agents or industrial chemicals, could also be present in sewage.   

Residential, institutional, and commercial property owners and managers can turn to the indoor environmental professionals at IEC to identify these types of hazards following a sanitary sewer overflow or other type of flooding event. Their experts are available to respond at a moment’s notice across Texas and the Gulf Coast.  
To learn more about IEC’s sanitary sewer overflow, flood, water damage, and indoor environmental quality services, please visit, email or call (877) 432-8378.
About Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc.
IEC began operations in 2001 with some of the nation’s most seasoned professional indoor air quality consultants who already had over 70 years of combined experience.  The indoor environmental quality firm specializes in field investigations and assessments of commercial, institutional and residential buildings.  Their services, related to fungal (mold), chemical, bacterial, asbestos and particulate pollutants, are offered throughout Texas, the Gulf Coast and the Southwest. IEC is licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services as a mold assessment company (ACO0114) and an asbestos consultant agency (100329).

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 Sewage Damage
 Sanitary Sewer Overflow
 Water Damage
 Pathogen Testing

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