Category 1 – Clean Water: a clean or potable water source is one that does not pose substantial harm to humans. Broken water supply lines, tub, or sink overflows with no contaminants, melting ice or snow, and falling rainwater. The best place to dispose of category 1 waste water is in the sanitary sewer system.
Category 2 – “Gray” Water: Potentially contains some degree of contamination that may cause sickness or discomfort if consumed by humans. The term gray water is a classification term only and may not refer to the color of water. Includes but not limited to: discharges from dishwashers and washing machines, toilet overflows with urine (no feces), broken aquariums, and punctured water bed mattresses. This type of water may contain algicides and bio-contaminants (fungal, bacterial, viral, algae). Time and temperature accelerate the bioactivity of “gray” water significantly. Flooded “gray” water in structures that remains untreated for longer than 48 hours may change from a “gray” water condition to a “black” water condition. The contaminated material that always must be disposed of is the carpet cushion (pad, underlay).
Category 3 – “Black” Water: May contain pathogenic agents (capable of causing disease), which can adversely affect occupant health and workers. Includes all flooding from sea water, rising water from rivers and streams, ground surface water, and toilet backflows that originate from beyond the toilet trap. “Black” water may contain fecal contamination, pesticides, heavy metals, radioactive materials, or other organic substances. The term black water is a classification term only and may not refer to the color of the water.
Classes of water Damage
Class 1 – Slow Evaporation Rate: Water losses that affect only part of a room or area; or losses with lower permeance/ porosity materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, vinyl composition tile (VCT), concrete). Little or no wet carpet and/or cushion are present. Minimum moisture is absorbed by materials, which release that moisture slowly.
Class 2 – Fast Evaporation Rate: Water losses that affect the entire room or carpet and cushion. Water has wicked up walls 12”-24”. There is moisture remaining in structural materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, vinyl composition tile (VCT).
Class 3 – Fastest Evaporation Rate: Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion, and subfloor in virtually the entire area is saturated.
Class 4 – Specialty Drying Situations: These consist of wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, stone, and crawlspaces). Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which normally require very low specific humidity.