Water damage is typically classified into one of the following three categories:
Category 1 Water (Clean Water)- Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans. Examples are broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows or appliance malfunctions that involves water supply lines.
Category 2 Water (Grey Water) - Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when exposed or even consumed. This type carries micro organisms and nutrients of micro organisms. Examples are toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.
Category 3 Water (Black Water) - Are grossly unsanitary. This water contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness. Category 3 losses are contaminated water sources that affect the indoor environment. This includes water sources from sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water. Category 2 Water or Grey Water that is not promptly removed from the structure and/or have remained stagnant for 48-72 hours may be reclassified as Category 3 Water. A toilet backflow that originates from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.