Floodwater falls into three categories. Knowing which category your problem falls into is important in determining the best course of action to take. It is critical to seek assistance immediately, because category 1 waters can become category 2 or 3 very quickly.
Category 1—clear water
This kind of flooding usually entails clean water that originates from a source--like a broken pipe or water heater--it does not present an immediate threat to humans or animals.
Category 2- grey water
This kind of water appears to be grey, filmy, or murky. It can contain a level of contamination, which could cause significant discomfort or sickness to humans exposed to it. Clear water may become murky or fall into category 2 within 24-48 hours.
Category 3- black water
This kind of water can occur in situations involving mass flooding or sewage, and is extremely dangerous. It usually contains significant microbial and pathogenic agents and is very unsanitary. It is important to prevent your family members or pets from being exposed to this category of floodwater.