Health Issues Associated with Sewage Exposure

A sewage truck with its hose extended, emptying a septic tank.

A Brief History Lesson on Sewage Treatment & Infrastructure – Before & Now

The utility and convenience of centralized sewer systems and water treatment plants are essential components of modern/urban cities. They provide clean water and handle human waste behind the scenes. This is by design – no one enjoys sewage. Before modern plumbing processes were invented, waste flowed openly in the streets. As a result, illness due to poor sanitation was rampant.

In Medieval Europe, regular contact and proximity to untreated waste caused numerous diseases, including:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid fever
  • Dysentery
  • And other terrible illnesses

Fortunately, homeowners today no longer deal with the problems of raw sewage exposure. Nevertheless, emergencies do arise on occasion. It is not uncommon for ordinary individuals to experience exposure to sewage when a toilet, septic tank, sink, tub, or floor drain overflows. At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Southeast Georgia, we will never take sewer lines for granted. We encounter issues with plumbing daily. Our job and top priority is to deliver fast and effective repairs to protect our customers from the smell, sanitation issues, and filth of sewer problems.

Raw Sewage Exposure Still Exists

Unlike a 16th-century city, we rarely encounter instances of sewage-contaminated water or public cesspools of human excrement and waste. Our seamless water treatment plants deliver clean drinking water, and our centralized sewer systems process human waste in a safely and privately. That said, exposure to raw sewage exposure remains.

Exposure to raw sewage is most frequently the result of:

  • Clogged tubs/sinks: Sewer water can get mixed with the water of a backed-up and overflowing sink, shower, or bathtub.
  • Overflowing toilets: A clogged toilet can overflow quickly – creating a messy situation.
  • Backed-up floor drains: Floor drains can become so inundated during heavy rains that they can overflow with sewer water – flooding basements and ground floors.
  • Overflowing septic tanks: Septic tanks contain an unhealthy mixture of wastewater, solid waste, organic waste, and human excrement. Exposure can occur during floods, storms, and other natural disasters/events that cause structural damage to the tank.

Sewage Exposure & Serious Health Risks

Sewage is filled with bacteria, parasites, and viruses that pose severe health risks. Let us look at all the hazards associated with all three pathogen types:

  1. Viruses – Viruses can cause gastroenteritis, abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, diarrhea, excessive vomiting, fever, constipation, and permanent paralysis.
  2. Bacteria – It is possible to contract a bacterial infection by coming into direct contact with untreated sewage. It is possible to be sickened with life-threatening symptoms due to a bloodborne bacterial infection. Numerous infections spread via sewage exposure, including campylobacteriosis and E. coli. These infections can lead to bloody stool, fever, cramping, kidney failure, abdominal pain, and vomiting. E Coli can even develop into fatal hemolytic uremic syndrome.
  3. Parasites – Parasites thrive in sewage-infested waters. Two parasite-related illnesses include Cryptosporidiosis and Giardiasis.

The list of diseases caused by sewage exposure is very long. It includes but is not limited to:

  • Hepatitis A:
  • Giardiasis
  • Dysentery
  • Typhoid fever
  • Salmonellosis
  • Diarrheagenic E. coli
  • Gastroenteritis (AKA, the stomach flu)

The symptoms associated with these diseases are primarily gastrointestinal (though not always). Waterborne, sewer-waste-related illnesses can lead to high fevers, diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloody stool, nausea and vomiting, rashes, weakness, cough, headaches, loss of appetite, jaundice, and viral liver disease.

The bottom line is simple: Nobody wants to be exposed to raw sewage or contract a disease. The good news is that Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Southeast Georgia has the tools, experience, and techniques to keep you and your family healthy – even when sewer issues emerge at home.

Contact our emergency plumbers without delay if you are dealing with a sewage backup! We will provide you with industry-leading service. Our team is available 24/7 because we understand that issues don’t always arise at opportune ours. You can also rest assured knowing our plumbing specialists are licensed & insured. We provide upfront quotes on all maintenance, repair, or installation services, and we never charge overtime and do not gouge prices during holidays or off-hour visits.

Are you looking for friendly, courteous, and uniformed plumbers you can trust? Give us a call or contact us online to schedule plumbing services today!