Raw sewage can contain a wide variety of pathogenic organisms including Salmonella, Shigella, enteric viruses, Giardia and Cyptosporidium, and multicellular parasites. Sewage may also contain blood borne pathogens such as HIV and the virus that causes hepatitis.
Sewage backflow into buildings causes some unique problems because of the possible presence of these pathogens. Testing for the above referenced microorganisms can be very costly, however, there are microorganisms such as Escherichia coli and the fecal streptococcus group that are common to raw sewage that can be used as indicators of contamination, as well as to verify the effectiveness of remediation procedures.
The presence of these organisms in building materials following a sewage backflow is a clear indication of sewage contamination. Typically, Escherichia coli will initially be more numerous in freshly contaminated samples than fecal streptococcus; however, as materials dry out the hardier fecal streptococcus will survive longer.
Sewage back flow can now be cleaned with the use of natural heat. Using the patented heat treatment process, ThermaPureHeat™, bacteria is rendered non-viable. Using heat will minimize the disposal costs because the waste does not need to be disposed of as a biohazard.
Highly trained technicians seal the area with poly sheeting to assure the infected area remains isolated. Once the area is sealed, the technicians place Mylar ducts into the treatment area to direct heat to the infected area. Depending on the bacteria and viruses prevalent in the cleanup area, the room temperature is increased to 150 to 180 degrees. Post remediation sampling has demonstrated 100% efficacy if these temperatures are maintained a minimum of 1 hour.
The utilization of the ThermaPureHeat™ Heat Treatment Process has proven to be both efficient and efficacious in the disinfection of bacterial contaminations. The process is simple and can typically be completed within one day. Additional benefits to the process are desiccation of the structure and elimination of mold amplification.
“Since the days of Louis Pasteur, it’s been well-known that ‘heat kills’. Millions of lives have been saved through the technique of heating milk and other foods, destroying or otherwise inactivating bacteria. The application of this principle to our environment is a natural progression of that knowledge.”
Dr. Richard Ashby, Ventura County Medical Director
Pathogens Associated with Sewage Contamination
Included below is research indicating the thermal death points of specific pathogens associated with sewage contamination. Many of these contaminants are a concern in dealing with remediation of flooded buildings especially those working with the Hurricane Katrina aftermath.
ThermaPureHeat™ is able to reach these temperatures and make a dramatic improvement on air quality, especially when used in conjunction with extraction and cleaning techniques.
Thermal Death Points of Sewage Pathogens*
|Enteric viruses||60 ° C / 140 °F||Rapidly at 60 ° C|
|Salmonellae||60 ° C / 140 °F||20 hours|
|Shigellae||55 ° C / 131 °F||60 minutes|
|E. coli||60 ° C / 140 °F||Rapidly above 60 ° C|
|Entamoeba hys tolytica cysts||50 ° C / 122 ° F||5 minutes|
|Hookworm eggs||50 ° C / 122 ° F||5 minutes|
|Roundworm eggs||55 ° C / 131 °F||120 minutes|
*Source of data is currently being researched