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Sewage Overflow Clean-up Procedures

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What should I do if sewage backs up into my home? 

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

•If you have suffered a loss or damage to your property, you should contact the City’s Risk Management Division at 954-828-5177 to file a claim. Risk Management works on a reimbursement basis. If you are not comfortable performing the cleaning and disinfection yourself, we recommend you hire a professional of your choice to perform the work. Save all detailed receipts for reimbursement approval.

•If sewage has overflowed in open areas or streets, avoid these areas and do not let children or pets play in these areas.

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 1 gallon of water. Once cleanup is complete, dry out affected items to prevent the growth of mold.

•Do not mix chlorine bleach with ammonia products as toxic fumes will form.

•Wash all linens and clothing in hot water or have them dry cleaned.

•Discard items that cannot be washed or dry cleaned, such as mattresses, carpeting, wall coverings and upholstered furniture.

For spills outside your home: 

•Minor spills requiring instant attention may be disinfected with hydrated lime available from most garden shops. Follow the lime container’s label instructions for personal protective equipment needed. Use lime outdoors only.

•Sprinkle the lime onto the spill so it is dusted mostly white on the surface. After a day, rake up the thicker deposits and place in a trash bag for disposal. Use sprinklers or a garden hose to water the remainder into the soil.

•Avoid dry sweeping to limit your exposure to dust.

•Let the area dry in the sun. If there is still white lime dust visible on the yard, water it until the white dust is gone.

•Keep children and pets away from limed areas until the lime is no longer visible.

Follow proper hygiene processes to prevent illness: 

•Keep hands and fingers away from the nose, mouth, eyes and ears.

•Wash hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer 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 clean work clothes with used work clothes.

•Shower as soon as possible after cleaning up sewage or sewage contaminated flood waters.

 If you have questions, please call the 24-Hour Neighbor Call Center at 954-828-8000.