Flood & Sewage Contamination Testing
“No matter what the situation or location, our experts can respond quickly and be on site the same day or next, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, providing reassurance over immediate health hazards and advise on how to conduct safe and effective clean up operations”
Wickham Laboratories Limited is an independent contract analytical laboratory established for over 40 years. The Laboratories offer services to Food and Pharmaceutical clients across the UK and worldwide, and we have developed a reputation for being experts in our field. In recent years we have been requested to assist in commercial disaster recovery situations where buildings or facilities have been flooded with sewage or sewage-contaminated water.
Rapid response to disaster recovery is an established part of our service and is coordinated through our Food Services department. We have been successfully testing food and agricultural products for over 25 years and understand the importance of fast turnaround and accuracy of results for this manufacturing sector. Naturally, we have transferred these skills and knowledge to the Disaster Recovery market and adapted our precision laboratory service to meet the needs of such customers throughout England. We work closely with some of the largest UK facility services companies and insurance loss adjusters, always providing an immediate response no matter where the location. We can be quickly on site to provide an initial risk assessment following a flooding incident, or be on standby to confirm that clean up and decontamination has been satisfactorily completed.
Why Wickham Laboratories?
Our mission is to responsibly treat each of our customers independently and confidentially. Those customers look towards Wickham Laboratories as being the experts, confident that testing is being performed with precision and speed, as well as frequently relying on technical advice whether this be at management level or to the engineer on the front line. Wickham Laboratories remains an independent company with a culture of customer communication and takes pride in having a reputation for delivering a cost effective service with high quality standards. The continual pursuit in delivering excellence remains central to our business.
Why be concerned with flooding?
In May to July 2007, England suffered its worst recorded flooding following record rainfall. Some 55,000 homes and business were affected leading to an insurance bill approaching £3 billion. Much of the damage was caused by surface water having no where to go because drains and sewerage systems were overwhelmed. In such cases, the surface run off water becomes mixed with sewage resulting in a potentially infectious cocktail of foul water, the contents of which may remain viable long after the water has subsided.
In one instance where Wickham Laboratories have had considerable involvement, viable bacteria of faecal origin have been recovered from underneath floor covering in a building's basement rooms some nine months after being initially flooded on 20th July 2007. In this case, we were initially asked to assess the impact of flood water with respect to levels and locations of faecal contamination, and have since revisited the site several times to confirm satisfactory clean up as and when contaminated flooring has been removed, sub-surfaces disinfected and new covering laid.
Our services are ideal for incidences where sewage contamination may have a critical impact on continued business once the waters have subsided. We are particularly requested to undertake contamination assessments for businesses with significant public facilities, catering and hospitality establishments, and residential or care home accommodation. In all cases, the customer seeks assurance that there will be no hazard to health for either their employees or customers, and where contamination has been identified, that sufficient remedial action has been taken to minimise any future risk.
No matter what the situation or location, our experts can respond quickly and be on site the same day or next, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, providing reassurance over immediate health hazards and advise on how to conduct safe and effective clean up operations. We use robust validated microbiological test procedures to determine the extent of sewage contamination, swabbing affected surfaces and then testing for faecal indicator organisms. Routine test results are typically available within 24 hours and this is communicated in a report format together with a recommendation based on results obtained. We always ensure our communication whether in person or by report is pitched at the required level, whether it be a simple non-scientific explanation that is called for, or a full scientific-detailed report.
As part of our services to the disaster recovery sector, we are often asked to source specialist environmental testing of waters and other materials. We have contact with a number of expert laboratory organisations and provide a one-stop-shop when it comes to helping customers with further testing.
Commonly we organise pollutant testing such as heavy metals and petroleum hydrocarbons in soils and water, or chemical/biological oxygen demand analysis in discharge water to help customers meet their environmental responsibilities. Whatever the request, we will endeavour to be of assistance.