Water Losses Types and Sources

water lossesTypes and Sources

Water losses fall into one of three categories. Determining these categories is the key to introducing the proper drying techniques. This will also designate what can and can not be restored.

Clean Water

Water losses from category 1 originate from a source not posing harm to humans.

Sources of category 1 water may include: broken water supply lines, sink overflows with no contaminants, appliance malfunctions involving water supply lines, melting snow, falling rain water, broken toilet tanks, and toilet bowls that do not contain contaminants or additives.

However, if left untreated for 72 hours, as a result, Category 1 water becomes Category 2 water.

Gray Water

This water contains a significant level of contamination. Category 2 also has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if consumed by or exposed to humans.

Category 2 water carries microorganisms and nutrients for microorganisms. Its sources may include discharge or overflows from any of the following; dishwashers, washing machines, or toilet bowls (with some urine but no feces); sump pump failures; seepage due to hydrostatic pressure; and broken aquariums.

Gray water may contain chemicals, biocontaminants, and other forms of contamination including physical hazards and is unsuitable for consumption. When affected with category 2 water, carpet padding needs to be removed and properly disposed of.

If left untreated, Category 2 water becomes Category 3 water in 48 hours or less.

Black Water

Black water contains pathogenic agents and is grossly unsanitary.

Category 3 water includes sewage and other contaminated water sources entering or affecting the indoor environment. Sources may be toilet backflows that originate from beyond the toilet trap, and all forms of flooding from seawater, ground surface water, and rising water from rivers and streams—these types of water carry silt and organic matter into structures and create black water conditions.

The health of workers and occupants is the most important consideration when dealing with sewage back flows. Always remove and properly dispose of both carpet and padding affected by a Category 3 water losses.


When a regulated material is present—in any water damage situation—a specialized expert may be necessary to assist in damage assessment.

Regulated materials may consequently pose potential or recognized health hazards and risks. These may include, however not limited to: arsenic, mercury, lead, asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, fuels, solvents, caustic chemicals, and radiological residues.

Call Flood Auckland on 09-489 5599

Flood Auckland has proudly been providing professional flood drying services since 1987.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *