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Sewage Exposure and Your Health

Sewer gas sign

Blog Highlights

  • Due to today’s centralized sewer systems and water treatment plants, our drinking water is safe
  • There are a number of serious diseases which can be caused by exposure to raw sewage
  • If you experience any malfunctioning plumbing, it’s important that you contact your local, professional plumber immediately

Modern plumbing and sewer lines are often taken for granted. In the past, sewage was often disposed of in the streets, causing many public health issues. Imagine the streets of Salt Lake City and Park City teeming with sewage and waste water. It’s hard to picture, but before modern plumbing this would have been a common practice.

In 16th-century Europe many people died of cholera, typhoid fever, and dysentery, diseases transmitted through contaminated drinking water. Fortunately, today when you flush the toilet or wash something down the sink it travels through a system of pipes and safely moves away from your home.

Exposure to Raw Sewage Today

Due to today’s centralized sewer systems and water treatment plants, our drinking water is safe; however, unfortunately, it’s still possible to be exposed to raw sewage in other ways. Backed-up floor drains are common during heavy rainfall. The extra water overwhelms the sewer system and can end up overflowing into your home. Typically this would affect your lowest drain in the house. Sometimes a sink or bathtub may get backed up and overflow. This water can be contaminated and may cause health problems.

Additionally, if your toilet gets clogged and overflows, you could come into contact with potentially dangerous waste. Likewise, if your septic tank overflows, this can put you and your family at risk. When a septic tank overflows, you may be exposed to wastewater and human excrement. It’s important to fix these issues as soon as possible to avoid most health issues.

Diseases Cause by Exposure to Raw Sewage

There are a number of serious and uncomfortable diseases which can be caused by exposure to raw sewage. If you start to experience any of the symptoms of these diseases and there’s a chance you were exposed to raw sewage, seek immediate medical attention.

  • Campylobacteriosis causes fever, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, as well as bloody diarrhea.
  • Cryptosporidiosis results in a fever, watery stool, and stomach cramps.
  • Diarrheagenic coli is contracted when fecal-contaminated water is consumed. It causes a fever, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.
  • Dysentery, caused by ingesting contaminated water can cause fever and bloody diarrhea.
  • Gastroenteritis, otherwise known as the stomach flu, results in vomiting, headaches, and a fever among other things.
  • Giardiasis is spread through a parasite, which causes stomach problems and diarrhea.
  • Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by ingesting fecal matter. Common symptoms are fever, jaundice, loss of appetite, fatigue, and diarrhea.
  • Salmonellosis which is caused by Salmonella causes abdominal cramps as well as a fever and diarrhea.
  • Typhoid fever can be contracted though contaminated food or water. It causes a high fever, a cough, a headache, stomach problems, and weakness. Sometimes it results in a rash.

If you experience any malfunctioning plumbing, it’s important that you contact your local, professional plumber immediately.

 

Do you have a plumbing problem? Are you worried about sewage exposure? Contact us today!