You may have heard the term “sewage backup” but not know exactly what one is. A sewage backup can also be referred to as raw sewage, sewage sludge or septic tank waste. All of those terms are equally gross sounding, but they do not alert you to the serious dangers involved.
Septic tank waste is basically a mix of murky water that contains of variety of unpleasant things such as wastewater from your household, organic waste, solid waste, human excrement and debris. All of these things are hazardous to your health, but human excrement brings the highest risks as it contains micro-organisms such as coliform, fecal coliform, Escherichia coliform and Enterococcus.
Exposure to raw sewage can result in several illnesses. E. coli is a bacteria that is commonly found within human and animal intestinal tracts, but is very dangerous outside of the intestines. Someone who comes in contact with E. Coli can develop severe diarrhea and abdominal cramping.
Contact with raw sewage can also result in Hepatitis, which is an infection of the liver. When Hepatitis is contracted due to contact with sewage it is usually evident through jaundice and the inflammation of the liver.
Weil’s disease has been linked to contact with raw sewage. This disease involves symptoms of Gastroenteritis, jaundice, fever and severe headaches.
Physical contact is not the only way sewage backups can harm you. The air around the sewage backup can become infected; meaning simply breathing near the hazardous waste can be dangerous. By inhaling the fumes you put yourself at risk of contracting Gastroenteritis, which is a virus found in human fecal waste. You may also develop occupational asthma, which involves being short of breath, a tight chest and severe wheezing. These fumes are often released during the clean-up process, which is why it is so very important to hire a professional to deal with the raw sewage and stay clear of the area until it is declared safe.
There are 3 main ways for someone to become infected by the micro-organisms present in a sewage backup. The most common is simple hand-to-mouth contact. This involves touching the bacteria and then eating, drinking, smoking or some other activity that involves touching your mouth with your hands. The second way is through the air. One can breathe in toxins or even particles of infected dust. Once breathed in, the micro-organisms can attack the respiratory system. The third way is through skin contact. Once one has touched the contaminated particles, the bacteria can enter the body through scratches, cuts, eyes, nose and mouth.
Due to the sensitive nature of sewage backups, it is imperative that you do not try to handle the situation on your own. Trained professionals are well informed of the dangers and know how to protect themselves from the health risks while they clean up the mess and make your home safe once again. It is important to stay clear of the raw sewage until the professionals tell you it is safe. Executive Restoration provides sewage clean-up services and can be contacted at (704) 545-0098.