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Florida Flooding from Tropical Storm Fay Leads to Sewage Contamination in Buildings


EMSL Analytical offers testing solutions for residential and commercial properties to quickly identify sewage contaminants.

Tropical Storm Fay soaked the state of Florida last week causing catastrophic flooding and damage. In many areas property owners are now faced with the unpleasant task of dealing with the aftermath which can include mold growth and water damaged buildings. Sewage contamination from backed up septic systems and city sewer systems can also lead to dangerous contaminants in buildings and in drinking water.

The recent flooding from Tropical Storm Fay in Florida has the potential to create widespread sewage contamination problems, however simple testing solutions can provide fast information to environmental professionals to prevent additional health risks once the presence or absence of these microorganisms has been determined.

The use of untreated or inadequately treated groundwater is responsible for a number of outbreaks of gastrointestinal illnesses that occur every year throughout the United States. In many of these outbreaks, sewage was most often identified as the contamination source.

At EMSL Analytical, one of the nation’s leading environmental testing laboratories with four offices throughout Florida, the laboratory tests for sewage contamination by searching for certain “indicator organisms” (total coliforms, fecal coliforms, E. coli, and Enterococcus). These indicator organisms are assumed to be indigenous to feces, and thus their presence in environmental samples is indicative of fecal contamination. EMSL also provides clients with more definitive answers by testing for individual pathogens such as Salmonella, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium.

If sewage contamination problems are suspected, either from ground water or from other sources, please contact EMSL Analytical, Inc. for further information on your microbiological testing needs.

EMSL has been offering testing services following natural and manmade disasters since its inception in 1981. For more information on testing services and products provided by EMSL please call (800) 220-3675, visit or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, food, and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


 Torpical Storm Fay
 Sewage Contamination

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