The Dangers of Sewage Backup

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The dangers of sewage backup are better understood once you learn what it is. You may also sometimes hear it referred to as raw sewage, sewage sludge, or septic tank waste.
Raw sewage is mainly black or gray water and often consists of organic waste and wastewater produced by household and industrial sources. Sewage usually contains everything from soap to solid waste, human excrement, industrial effluent, and debris, and is discharged by drains and sewer lines.

Excrement is the major source of dangerous micro-organisms like coliform, fecal coliform, Escherichia coliform, and Enterococcus.

The Health Dangers of Sewage

Being exposed to sewage or its products could result in a number of diseases:

Allergic Alveolitis
Inflammation of the alveoli in the lungs is seldom reported with relation to sewage backup. However, when reported its symptoms include fever, breathlessness, dry cough, and aching muscles and joints.

When irritation is excessive, symptoms of gastroenteritis (an inflammation of the stomach and the intestine) can include diarrhea with vomiting and cramps, and is often associated with fever when caused by an infectious agent.

Literally, Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver and caused by a virus known as viral hepatitis. When Hepatitis is an outcome of sewage backup, it is often characterized by jaundice and inflammation of the liver.

Weil's disease
An acute feverish disease with symptoms of gastroenteritis, mild jaundice, persistent and severe headache.

Occupational asthma
A respiratory disorder, occupational asthma shows symptoms of attacks of breathlessness, chest tightness, and wheezing.

Additional health dangers include fatal liver, kidney, blood damage, and skin or eye infection.

Spreading Disease

There are 3 common ways for micro-organisms to penetrate the human body. Hand-to-mouth is the most common way to spread disease and occurs during eating, drinking and smoking. Contaminated organisms could easily enter the body as we breathe aerosolized particles or contaminated dust. Skin contact with contaminated organisms occurs through cuts, scratches, or penetrating wounds, and can enter the body through the surfaces of the eyes, nose and mouth.