You probably do not think of roots growing into a sewer line as a potential biohazard, but it spawned one at Lake Arrowhead. Eco Bear consistently warns the community that biohazards happen much more often than people imagine and not just on TV shows like CSI.
On December 29, 2007, a sewer line backed up forcing 2,000 gallons of raw sewage from its appropriate flow into a gutter emptying into Lake Arrowhead. While the spill did not affect the drinking water due to quick action by the Lake Arrowhead Community Services District (LACSD) maintenance team, it did damage the property in Shelter Cove where the spill occurred. The LACSD team had to dig a diversion ditch quickly on the property to divert the sewage flow. Sewage seeped up into the yard surrounding the property’s boathouse and into its waters. This required the property owner off of North Shore Road to need biohazard cleanup. Tests conducted by LACSD showed abnormally high levels of bacteria in the shoreline soil.
The cause of that massive biohazardous event was simple and an everyday occurrence. Over the long-term, roots grew underground and impacted an eight-inch sewer branch line. The roots blocked the sewage flow and the sewage backed up seeping aboveground through a manhole.
Needing a biohazard cleanup team like Eco Bear’s does not require a sewage backup that threatens a major water source or a natural disaster that causes flooding. We experience biohazards that require a professional cleanup team almost every day. A person dies while others are away on a trip, professionally called an unattended decomposition, or a viral outbreak occurs, such as someone in the household contracting COVID-19. Contracting a bacterial infection or an infectious disease also requires biohazard cleanup.
Other causes can create a biohazardous environment, too. When a crime occurs at a location, such as an assault or battery or homicide, it can require a crime scene cleanup from the crime or from the forensic investigation chemicals used or both. A trauma scene or industrial or home accident can also create a need for the Eco Bear team. In some cases, animal remains and their wastes can create a need for a biohazard cleaning.
Perhaps you have watched on television the cleanup of an individual who practices hoarding. You might not think that a packrat could cause a biohazard, but some items are not meant for long-term storage. The hoarding process can create problems with mold and mildew.
The presence of COVID-19 as a threat requires further vigilance. If someone in your family received a diagnosis of COVID-19, you might not perceive that as a biohazard, but their disease is. Once they receive their diagnosis, whether they enter the hospital or remain at home, you need your home cleaned for biohazards. Even the mask you wear to the store or dry cleaners becomes medical waste once it is worn.
At Eco Bear, we offer both a sympathetic attitude and Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) practices and methods in biohazardous decontamination. The word biohazard covers a broad range of materials including living organisms and manufactured chemicals. Cleaning this type of biohazard requires personal protective equipment (PPE) plus specialized cleaning agents.
How Long Does Decontamination Require?
You probably want to know how long cleanup requires. It depends on the biohazard involved. Cleaning and removal of pet odors typically take only a handful of hours, but cleaning and disinfecting a crime scene can require a few days. Cleaning up medical waste varies in time length depending on the wastes involved and the disease vectors. Eco Bear does the cleanup work in stages. First, we clean the biohazard, then any chemical spill. Finally, we remove the waste.
The surface types that need cleaning also matter. Concrete, carpet and other porous surfaces take additional time to clean since the hazard seeps into the surface. Some events, like fires, floods and smoke damage require replacement of drywall, painting and sub-floor. For instance, paint becomes a biohazard when you discover your home or business was painted using lead paint. The lead paint must get stripped off before the interior can get re-painted.
Surface size influences the time required for cleanup, too. The longer the delay in cleaning, the longer it requires to clean the contamination. If the area was declared a crime scene and you could not access it for cleaning, it will probably require longer.
Eco Bear conducts all levels of biosafety cleaning from levels one to four. We use professional equipment such as air scrubbers, negative air machines, ozone machines, hospital-grade 3 disinfectants, hazard suits, masks and respirators.
Call Eco Bear for biohazard cleaning in Lake Arrowhead, CA and the surrounding area. Let us help decontaminate and clean your business or home, to restore your normal.