Sewage backups can be an unpleasant sight as there are leaks in many places while several pipes are exploding as if in sych with one another. This is one of the most serious plumbing issues any homeowner could deal with. This should not come as a surprise even as you should be aware of the dangers that sewage backup can pose to your plumbing system, and the need to call for professional cleanup services.
Why Does Sewage Backup Occur?
There are many reasons a sewage backup can occur but poor pipe management and burst pipes are common reasons.
Here are the other top reasons for sewage backup occurrence:
- Tree root infiltration
- Wet weather
- Blockages caused by improper flushing
- Basement flooding
- Broken or leaky pipes
- Structural defects
- Complex sewage lines
How Dangerous are Sewage Backups?
Sewage or septic tank wastewater is brown-to-black in color. It often contains organic waste and those that come from industrial and household sources. Additionally, sewage water carries human waste and industrial effluent, which goes down the drains and further to the sewer lines.
No matter the reason, sewage backup can cause property damage and health problems. In a worst case scenario, it can even spark a fire , and your property could be among those that can be set ablaze.
Water levels will usually rise because of sewage backup and these can reach electrical outlets, extension cords, and gas-burning devices, consequently causing a fire. When this happens, remain calm and do the following to avoid incurring serious injuries:
1. Turn off the power supply.
2. Wear rubber boots if possible.
3. Get out of the building.
4. Do not touch anything.
5. Call a professional immediately.
Sewage Backups and Property Damage
Property damage is the greatest risk that can arise from sewage backup. The longer you wait to see if a cleanup can be done, the more damage will come. It’s best to be prepared and acknowledge the possibility that not everything can be saved and many will have to be thrown away completely to ensure the safety and health of your family.
Mattresses, stuffed toys, and leather goods cannot be saved. On the other hand, items like washable fabrics can still be saved if you wash them using chlorine bleach and then dry them thoroughly.
Health Risks from Sewage Contamination
According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), approximately 2 million people are affected by sewage contamination each year. Polluted water can lead to serious health problems for homeowners because it contains harmful substances such as pesticides and bacteria.
Getting exposed to various bacteria-causing organisms can have serious consequences as detailed below:
- Escherichia coli – E. coli can be found in the intestines of humans. E.coli can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and cramps. If untreated, severe complications are likely to happen.
- Hepatitis A virus – Hepatitis A is a contagious disease that directly affects your liver. The symptoms of the disease are liver infection, yellowish skin, jaundice, and liver failure.
- Leptospirosis – This bacterial infection causes muscle soreness and vomiting.
- Acanthamoeba – This microscopic amoeba can cause eye, ear, and throat infections.
- Salmonella – This is similar to E. Coli, which can cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
- Heliobacter Pylori – This bacterium is commonly found in children and can cause peptic ulcers.
All of these bacteria and viruses can cause serious health problems, particularly if there’s an open wound involved and this was not properly covered. The greater your exposure to sewage water the more dangerous your condition will become.
Sometimes, sewer gas can contribute to aggravating an already severely- contaminated situation. Deep Water Emergency Services and Restoration said that long term exposure to sewer gas can result in fatigue, loss of appetite, and even memory problems.
These situations call for professional companies familiar with the intricate process of sewage backup cleanups where the appropriate equipment, best practices, and experience can be put to extensive use.
S ewage Backup Cleanup
Sewage backup cleanup is not an easy job and you can’t do it by yourself. The possess is long, difficult, and is best left in the expert hands of professionals, especially since it will involve facing serious health and safety hazards.
Exposure to sewage is obviously dangerous because you could easily contract many diseases. This is why DIY projects for sewage backup cleanups are not advisable. Only those with the experience and the right equipment are given the right to do this job.
Sewage backups can cause serious damage to your property and health. For this reason, you need to be aware of the gravity of the situation when sewage backups occur and the things you can do to save yourself and the people dear to you.
When it comes to cleaning up, it’s best to leave this to professional companies that have been handling sewage backup issues for many years. Doing the cleanup yourself is a risky undertaking and should never be considered.