⋅Sewage Overflow Nightmare⋅ 

Stair of a House fully flooded from sewage overflow.
The disgusting sewage overflow water filled the basement, creating an awful stench and a serious biohazard.

Advanced Bio Treatment cleans and decontaminates not only violent crime and death scenes but also other pathogenically dangerous, bio-hazardous sites, the extreme dangers of which the average person might not recognize.

Hurricanes don’t hit the Atlanta area, but the strands of hurricanes that hit Florida do, and those strands can wreak havoc with low-lying homes in hilly Atlanta, where many homes are built in and near flood zones. Atlanta also has its fair share of heavy, devastating storms that flood those low-lying areas and create a bio-hazardous waste site in and around the home.

Dangerous Raw Sewage Overflow Floods Home

Around lunchtime one day in August, we were called to a horrific site by a distraught homeowner, a panicked single woman who had no idea what to do when her worst nightmare came to life.

She had bought an affordable home deep inside a flood zone in a suburb northwest of Atlanta. She was young and a bit naïve and thought it would be really cool to live right next to a “creek” – which was actually the drainage ditch for hundreds of acres of development surrounding the home. The builders were three equally naïve young men building their first home with the support of their engineer-father. They bought a two-acre retention pond in a well-established neighborhood, backfilled it, and built three homes in the flood zone. It took a little more dirt than they expected, and a little more money to meet code. They just wanted to unload the homes, and here was their chance to at least break even on home #1.

The young woman’s home was the lowest property on the street, so it was a magnet for excess rainfall. This time, however, the rain was so heavy that the county sewer flooded, and, as water does, it sought the lowest point and back-flowed right into her sewer line. Once the sewer overflow filled her line, the filthy water flowed into her washing machine, which was located in the garage, and quickly flooded out of the machine and into the garage itself. When the pressure in the flooded street line blew the manhole cover right into the front of her house, the sewer flooded the street and made a beeline for her property, completely filling the crawl space under her home. But this was not just water. It was raw sewage, water full of human feces, sanitary napkins, condoms, and everything else people flush down the toilet.

In addition to the devastating damage clean-water flooding causes, she had the highly toxic, bio-hazard of raw sewage in her garage, washing machine, and dirt crawl space.

Distraught over the condition of her home, the homeowner attempted to contact the county for help, not knowing where else to turn.

Where to Turn for Help

Getting a final decontamination wash after cleaning up the raw sewage overflow.
Raw sewage presents a serious biological hazard and you should never allow it to come into contact with your skin, even breathing in toxic fumes can cause illness. Our professional technicians follow strict guidelines for safe decontamination.

Unfortunately, the county was slow to respond because years earlier, they had installed a backflow valve on her sewer line, but it had malfunctioned during this storm, which they blamed on improper maintenance on the homeowner’s part. She couldn’t wait days or weeks to clean up the sewage overflow while she fought the county, so, upon a neighbor’s recommendation, she called Advanced Bio Treatment the day following the storm. When we got there, the water itself had subsided, leaving a bio-hazardous cesspool in its wake. The cement floor of the garage, the inside of the washing machine, and the crawl space were covered in feces and dirt, and everything was still wet with contaminated water. The odor was unbearable.

The micro-organisms living in raw sewage are deadly and enter the body via skin contact, especially through scratches and open wounds, and through breathing them in.

These pathogens cause an array of deadly diseases like Hepatitis and gastroenteritis. This homeowner had none of the protective clothing necessary to prevent contamination to herself or her home. She certainly had no ventilated respirators. She couldn’t begin to clean up the sewage overflow herself and would have risked her life had she tried.

Advanced Bio Treatment was able to clean and decontaminate the entire crawl space, garage, and all affected areas of the washing machine, remove all traces of raw sewage, and deodorized the entire area.

The raw sewage had to be packaged and contained, following OSHA’s guidelines, as bio-hazardous waste and then properly disposed. Advanced Bio Treatment professionals then used special equipment to make sure every nook and cranny of the affected areas were decontaminated and deodorized. When we were finished, we set up large fan to help dry out the crawl space and garage.

Advanced Bio Treatment assisted our client in filing a complaint against the county, which was eventually settled in her favor.

She received reimbursement for most of her expenses related to this incident, including our cleaning services and the plumbing service that installed a new backflow valve. We also put her in touch with a reputable company, with whom we have worked in the past, to assess the crawl space for the presence of any mold caused by not only this incident but also incidents of clean-water flooding in the past.

At Advanced Bio Treatment, we do more than respond to bio-hazards associated with trauma. We respond to customers. We understand what you are going through. We help you get your lives back to normal. If trauma devastates your life, let the professionals at Advanced Bio Treatment help. We are here 24/7, we respond to emergencies quickly, and we work with your insurance company.

Ted Pelot Owner & President of Crime Scene Cleanup Company - Advanced Bio-Treatment