skip to content

Proper Sewage Clean Up Procedures

By FDOH Alachua Staff

September 18, 2017

What should I do if sewage backs up?

  • If a sewage backup has occurred in your home, stay out of affected areas and keep children away. If your entire home has been saturated, abandon the home until all affected areas, including but not limited to carpets, rugs, sheetrock, drywall, and baseboards, have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

 How to clean up sewage contaminated items and sewage spills inside your home:

  • Wear protective clothing such as rubber boots and waterproof gloves.
  • Clean walls, hard-surfaced floors, and other household surfaces with soap and water and disinfect with a solution of 1/4 cup of bleach in one gallon of water.  Once cleanup is complete dry out affected items to prevent the growth of mold. 
  • Do not mix ammonia cleansers with bleach as toxic vapors will form.
  • Wash all linens and clothing in hot water or dry clean them.
  • Discard items that cannot be washed or dry cleaned, such as mattresses, carpeting, wall coverings and upholstered furniture.      

Follow proper hygiene procedures to prevent illness:

  • Keep hands and fingers away from the nose, mouth, eyes and ears.
  • Wash hands with soap and water immediately after cleanup efforts as well as  before eating or drinking.
  • Keep fingernails short and clean.  Use a stiff brush to remove dirt and foreign materials.
  • Do not store fresh work clothes with used work clothes.
  • Shower after each work day.

For spills outside your home:

  • Contact your utility or a registered septic tank contractor for clean up. 
  • Minor spills requiring  immediate attention may be disinfected with regular garden lime from a garden shop.  Follow the lime container’s label instructions for personal protective equipment needed.
  • Sprinkle the lime onto the spill so the spill is dusted mostly white on the surface. If the residue is thicker in some places use a rake to mix the lime and the residue.
  • After a day, rake up the thicker residue and place it in a trash bag for disposal with the other trash. Use a sprinkler or hose to water the lime and residue into the      soil.
  • Let the area dry in the sun a day before allowing access. If there is still white lime dust visible on the yard, water it in until the white dust is gone.
For more information contact the Alachua County Health Department Environmental Health Section at (352) 334-7930.