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Thorough cleaning of indoor sewage spills is necessary to protect people—especially small children—from harmful bacteria and viruses. Clean-up should begin as soon as possible to reduce the risk of exposure to sewage.

Clean up tips:

  • Keep children and pets out of the area until clean-up has been completed.
  • Wear rubber gloves and boots.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and launder clothes separately after completing the clean-up.
  • Remove all furniture, loose rugs, and so on from the area.
  • Saturated wall-to-wall carpeting (and the pad) usually cannot be adequately cleaned. They should be removed, wrapped in plastic, and taken to a transfer station or sanitary landfill. If you decide to keep the carpeting, hire a licensed carpet cleaning company to steam clean and disinfect the carpet.
  • All hard surfaces, such as linoleum, hardwood floors, concrete, wood moldings, wood, and metal furniture, and on should be thoroughly cleaned with hot water and a mild detergent (dish detergent), and then rinsed with a bleach solution by mixing 3/4 cup of liquid household bleach to one gallon of water. Let the surface air dry.
  • Upholstered furniture, loose rugs, drapery, and so on should be professionally cleaned. Notify the cleaner of the problem.
  • Remove and replace plaster, plasterboard, and lath that have been saturated and are soft to the touch. If the surface has been wetted, clean as you would a hard surface, but do not saturate the plaster.
  • Clean sinks, dishwashers, and other plumbing fixtures that have had sewage back-up with detergent, and then rinse with the bleach solution.
  • Disinfect clean-up mops, brooms, and brushes with the bleach solution.
  • Increase air circulation to reduce odors and mold growth—open all windows and doors. The use of fans and heaters may speed this process.