The IICRC classifies water into three separate categories, aptly named Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3. Water categories were created to identify the level of water contamination and the procedures required to mitigate the different types. Water categories are often confused with water classes, which relate to how far the water has spread.
What is category 1 water?
Category 1 water originates from a sanitary source and does not cause a great deal of harm to humans if contacted, ingested, or inhaled.
Category 1 water could come from:
- Broken water supply lines
- Ice or snow that has melted
- Sink or tub overflows containing no contaminants
- Appliance malfunctions involving the water line
- Broken toilet tanks or bowls containing no contaminants
Category 1 water is the easiest to mitigate as little to no personal protective equipment (PPE) is usually required. Category 1 water that sits longer than 72 hours is sometimes classified as category 2 water.