The Bacteria that’s Left Behind from Sewage Back-Ups

No one wants to experience the messy inconvenience of a sewage backup incident. They are unplanned mini-catastrophes that leave behind more than an unsightly mess (not to mention the smell). 6684097669_b859b7ea96_zSewage floods can also leave a trail of bacteria and mold, an inevitable result of being knee deep in your new set of problems.

Since life likes to throw us curveballs every now and then, we must deal with these issues as they rear their ugly heads. Mold removal services are necessary when confronting the resurgence of yesterday’s forgotten waste, especially when you consider what it leaves behind.

Meet the lovely little specks of bacteria that come with your everyday sewage backup incident.

Total Coliforms

Total coliforms are common forms of bacteria that reside in the intestines of humans and animals.

Coliforms are also present in natural environments, with significant quantities being detected in soil and common microflora. Health organizations routinely conduct tests for these types of bacteria to determine the consumability of everyday drinking water.

Fecal Coliforms

The name is misleading because not all forms of bacteria in this category originate from the digestive systems of humans and animals. The types of bacteria can that fall under the category of fecal coliforms can include E. coli, Klebsiella, Enterobacter and Citrobacter, some of which originate from plants instead of animals.

Escherichia Coli (E. coli)

Among one of the most well-known types of bacteria because of its common appearance on headline news. While not every strain of E. coli is harmful to humans, some of these rod shaped bacteria are known to cause food poisoning in their hosts. E. coli is a common bacteria that causes food recalls as well as the temporary closure of restaurants and eateries.

Not something most people want floating around their house.


Enterococci are a sub-group of fecal bacteria found in animal intestines and presents the largest concern for the EPA when testing drinking water. The presence of this bacteria indicates a strong presence of health risks when discovered and is recommended to be remedied with haste.

Why you shouldn’t panic

Just because you have a sewage backup incident in your home doesn’t mean you have to run out of the house while holding your breath. Nor is there a need to locate the nearest chemical shower. Most of these forms of bacteria are relatively harmless to people.

Remember, they came from inside of you to begin with.

What the presence of these forms of bacteria does indicate is the potential for disease causing pathogens to take up residence in your home, which is why removal services are imperative in the aftermath of such an incident.

Failure to rid your house of water damage and mold can result in cases of Salmonella, E. coli, Shigella and other illnesses.

How to prevent them from getting in your house

If you want to avoid these cases altogether, read our blog to learn how you can stop sewage blockages and other forms of flooding before they become an issue in your home.

Do you have a particular flooding issue that turned into a nightmare? Comment below and share your tale with the community!

Written by Kevin Withers
on February 16, 2015