Washington State University
PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
SAFETY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL
Environmental Health and Safety
Sewage Spills and Cleanup
University personnel are to inform Environmental Health and
Safety (EH&S) whenever a sewage spill greater than several gallons occurs.
Telephone (509) 335-3041 during business hours and 911 at other times.
Notify EH&S immediately if the spill:
Surface Waters, Storm Drains
- Is in a food service or food preparation area.
- Is in any public area where there is a potential for human exposure.
- May enter or flow into surface waters (streams, ponds, lakes, wetlands)
or storm drains.
Properly trained personnel should attempt to prevent the spill
from entering surface waters or storm drains prior to notifying EH&S.
If sewage from a spill actually enters or flows into surface waters or storm
drains, EH&S contacts the Washington State Department of Ecology within
24 hours of being informed of the incident.
For less serious incidents, contact EH&S when reasonably
feasible, e.g., the next morning for a spill occurring the previous evening.
Personnel who perform sewage spill cleanup must be properly
trained in accordance with the departmental bloodborne pathogen plan and
employ good personal hygiene practices.
Cleanup personnel are to ensure that individuals not involved
in the cleanup and disinfection of the sewage spill remain out of the area
until the contamination has been removed and the area disinfected.
When a toilet overflows or drain backs up and the overflow volume
is less than several gallons, contact Facilities Operations or Housing Services
for cleanup. It is not necessary to notify EH&S in such cases.
Cleanup personnel are to use the sanitary sewer system (toilet,
sewer manhole, or floor drains) to dispose of sewage. Sewage is NOT to be
disposed of in storm drains, gutters, ditches, surface waters or any other
location where it could enter surface waters, cause groundwater contamination,
or result in human exposure.
It is the responsibility of EH&S to help insure that sewage
spills are cleaned up properly in a safe and sanitary manner in order to
protect public health and the environment.
EH&S provides training and guidance to help ensure that sewage spills
are cleaned, disinfected, and disposed of properly, and that WSU personnel
use the proper personnel protective equipment in accordance with the departmental
bloodborne pathogen plan.
On a case by case basis, EH&S may elect to coordinate the cleanup of
spills and/or assist WSU departments in sewage cleanup and disinfection.