Wastewater is the term for water that has come out from a freshwater source and been affected by human use. This water is no longer considered “safe” for consumption, and thus needs to be disposed of properly. In the majority of cases, wastewater is disposed of via a drain system, but there are some exceptions. However, one thing that all businesses have in common is that wastewater can present a massive threat, and the same goes for homeowners as well.

If you suffer a broken pipe, flooding, or other major plumbing problem, you need to know what kind of wastewater you’re dealing with in order to know how to handle it properly. Some water problems carry minimal risk while others require the assistance of a professional for proper cleanup and decontamination.

Here are the three types or wastewater you need to know about.

Clean Water

Clean water sounds harmless, right? In terms of wastewater, it is the least harmful, so this is a safe assumption. Floodwaters that don’t pose an immediate health threat are considered “clean water” and are usually the result of a malfunctioning appliance or a clean water feed line to one. These types of floods are generally safe for you to clean up yourself with a mop and some towels, as much as they might be a pain. However, it doesn’t do you any good to wait—in as little as 48 hours, the water that was once clean could become contaminated and present a health risk.


Greywater is the first “contaminated” level of waste water that features bacteria, viruses, and other harmful materials. As far as home wastewater goes, water that goes down sink drains, shower drains, bathtub drains, and washing machines is generally considered to be greywater. Generally, this type of flooding is caused by a broken appliance, clogged drain, overflowing fixture, or even a broken drain pipe causing a leak.

There are fewer pathogens in this water, which means there is no immediate health hazard from it. However, that doesn’t mean it’s harmless and any spills or floods should still be taken seriously. Use protective equipment when cleaning it up and be sure to disinfect any areas that came in contact with the water thoroughly. If you experienced several inches of flooding or more, it’s strongly advised you call a restoration company who has the tools to take care of this type of problem properly.


Blackwater is the most harmful type of wastewater because it’s contaminated with human waste, such as that from toilets, urinals, and bidets. The most common form of blackwater in commercial facilities is raw sewage, however wastewater contaminated with chemicals and particulates could also be considered blackwater due to the danger of coming in contact with it. In addition to excrement, it also contains toilet paper, water from food preparation sinks, dishwashers, and a few other sources where exposure to biological waste is possible. Any contact with blackwater, either via ingestion or skin contact, can cause serious illness.

Because these types of flooding are so immensely unsanitary, anything that absorbs the water is almost always unsalvageable and needs to be replaced outright. What surfaces can be salvaged often require extensive decontamination and sterilization in order to be safe for general use again. It’s strongly advised you speak with a professional Ontario commercial plumber and have them assess the situation and make the necessary repairs before starting the cleanup process.

If you’ve got a wastewater issue, call the experts at All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical at (909) 500-8193 now and request immediate assistance!