Sewer Backup Health Dangers – When to Call a Professional

One of my favorite movies and stories of all time is the Ninja Turtles. I was always fascinated at how these teenage turtles were heroic in nature but also human, juvenile even sometimes. These creatures trained by their master and father, a humanoid rat himself, to become skilled fighters, exhibiting courageous and bravery only associated with special human beings, won the hearts of not just the characters in their stories but of a lot of children and adult as well.

I remember tying scarfs around my face, just to mimic Michelangelo, carrying my school bag as a shell. My mum would laugh at me and she will tease me once in a while telling me not to forget to pack my things and move to the sewer maybe I’ll find them there.

No matter how the movies make the sewer look bearable, sewage is not a pleasant thing you want to be around. Batman, Spiderman and other superheroes at some point all had to go down to the sewer but what happens when the content of the sewer comes right back at you like a villain lurking in the shadows all this while waiting for the most unpredictable moment.

If you are experiencing sewer backup or a clogged drain, you need to call a professional plumbing company that can safely and quickly get your home or business back up and running.

Sewage Backup in House Poses Health Risks

Once you start perceiving the unpleasant smell and you can see the dirty, foul liquid sipping out from the nooks and crevices of pipes, then it dawns on you there’s been a fecal spillage, you have to make the call to your plumber or the waste manager immediately.

Obviously, a lot of bacteria and germs make their homes in the filthy environment and we need not be reminded of the dangers this will pose to our health. Hence, prompt action is always required in these cases.

Close to 2 million cases of sicknesses are associated with sewage contamination as reported by the National Resources Defence Council. This is largely due to the amount of toxic substances such as chemicals, pesticides or industrial wastes that are transported through the system, which is enormous and unimaginable.

Some of the notorious biological hazards that accompany these incidences are pipe borne diseases, which have known to ravage undeveloped areas or ghettos due to improper hygiene management.

Typhoid or cholera could become prevalent in the area or household where this starts to occur if undiscovered and dealt with quickly.

One of the major tests carried out to make sure drinking water potable, is the E.coli test. This is one of the microorganisms present in the fecal matter oozing out of the cracks, contaminating wells, reservoirs or the pipes bringing in water into the house. Just like in the dark ages, when people would drink from infected water sources like streams or rivers causing major disease outbreaks.

Other associated risks are abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Increase susceptibility to ear, nose and throat infections, eye infections can also happen due to Acanthamoeba that can be found in sewage.

So, you really want to take care of the situation as fast as possible because it may have started in hidden places before it finally comes out to your notice. That is why you want to call a professional plumber to investigate and help mitigate the sewage backup.

Sewer Back Up Causes

One of the major reasons why we get these undesired backups is due to old and rusty water channels. Most structures have been installed decades ago and there’s so little maintenance done due to their hidden locations. Eventually, these pipelines give way to natural or manmade degradation, which allows outpouring of the dirtiest substances depending on what is being carried within it.

Also, there may be blockage of pipes due to accumulated materials from various sources. Just like the way atherosclerotic plaques narrow the blood vessels in vascular diseases, different substances can clog the pipes and cause the resulting bursting or spillage of sewage right out into the open.

In some other instances, it may just be an accident that breaks the pipe and all hell is let loose. Tree roots may also grow deep into the ground, disturbing the integrity of the laid channels and leads to the ensuing leakage.

How to Stay Safe When Dealing With Sewer Backup

The proper examination of the cause and how to prevent it from being repeated is the work of seasoned professionals in the plumbing and sewage management field.

This reminds me of an elderly man that attends the same Parish with me. He simply calls himself a waste manager, back when the job wasn’t dignifying and associated with filth. He stood out among his peers and was very fast at mechanizing his business.

Back then, what we had were men who smoke and drink to numb their senses, as they go down into the septic tank or enter the area of spillage and clean the mess up while wearing their plastic gloves and masks. This was always obnoxious and irritating to watch, we practically have to leave the house for days, even neighbors complain bitterly during these unfortunate episodes. But situation and times have changed proper pumps are now being used to evacuate and suck the sewage all up. Sweet smelling chemicals and disinfectants are also used to mask the nauseating smell that comes with the mess.

That is why hand washing is being advocated by healthcare professionals as it protects and saves us more than we know. Wash your hands properly often and anytime you visit the restroom or come in close range of messy areas.

Compulsory laundry should be done and clothes soiled with fecal matter should be discarded. Proper aeration of the house and locations where the sewage backup happened has to be ensured. Any item that seems to have been in the area of leakage should be washed thoroughly and disinfected or trashed and disposed of properly.

In conclusion, we don’t plan for unforeseen circumstances like this but they happen. So, it’s best to cultivate good maintenance culture and hygienic practices for our own protection.

References (2018). Health Hazard Alert: Risks of Sewer Backups. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2018]. (2018). [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2018].

Robinson Plumbing. (2018). Causes & Solutions For A Sewer Backup In Alburtis PA & Surrounding Areas | Robinson Plumbing Offers Trusted Plumbing Services. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2018].