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Flooding Events Often Result in Sewage Contamination Concerns

EMSL Analytical, inc. provides environmental testing services and sampling supplies to identify outdoor and indoor sewage contamination exposure risks.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

A few months ago, it was reported in the Commercial Appeal newspaper that a raw sewage spill threatened a major airport in Tennessee. According to the article, the event unfolded after high water in a river caused a pump power failure at a nearby wastewater treatment plant. The facility reportedly processes about 180 million gallons of sewage each day. The high flow of the river and electrical failure at the treatment plant created a perfect storm that resulted in the release of raw sewage into floodwaters that threatened the nearby airport.

Anytime water contains sewage, which is quite common during flooding events, it can create immediate health concerns for anyone that comes in contact with it outdoors or indoors if a building or home becomes flooded. In addition to the unpleasant nature of sewage contamination, it can expose people to a wide range of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and parasites. Standing water and wet materials will allow many of these organisms to multiply and any introduced moisture to the indoors of a property can result in the rapid growth of mold. In some circumstances, there could even be hazardous chemicals mixed in with the sewage.

“People coming into contact with pathogens or chemical contaminants associated with sewage contamination is a health threat,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Contact could result from touching contaminated surfaces, ingestion or inhalation. Anyone could be at risk of exposure, but health concerns for those with a weakened or suppressed immune system are often greatest.”

Helping in these types of situations are the environmental experts at EMSL Analytical, Inc. EMSL, with laboratories located across North America, offers sampling supplies and testing services to identify microbial pathogens, fecal indicator organisms, mold and chemical contaminants that may be present due to sewage contamination. This information can be vital for protecting workers or the public from exposure, for filing an insurance claim, and to ensure a damaged property is properly remediated to ensure the home or building is once again safe for building occupants.

EMSL recently sponsored an educational video about sewage contamination, property damage and exposure concerns that can be seen at:

For more information about water damage, sewage, mold, IAQ or other environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit, email  or call (800) 220-3675.


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 45 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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