Safety Issues of Water Damage due to Sewer Backups


Sewer problems can present a lot of health risks. (Photo Credits)

Sewer backups can be a problematic issue that goes beyond the usual flooding, clean up and expense. It can even become a health issue that may affect all household members.

The official website of the state of Massachusetts came up with an explanation on how dangerous sewer back-ups can be on human health. Read more here       

“Pathogens are disease-causing agents, which can be in the form of bacteria, viruses, mold spores, or protozoans, and which are normally present in large numbers in sewage wastes. The nature and extent of potential pathogen risks of sewer backups and floodwaters will depend in large part on the potential contaminants expected to be in the waters.”

The full explanation can be found here.

Dealing with the health risks

Inspectapedia meanwhile laid out measures to undertake during a sewage back up. In the same discussion, it also mentioned the health risks involved once a sewage back up occurs.

“You should assume that any surface or material touched by sewage is contaminated. Watch out: Unless you are wearing appropriate safety gear, do not enter confined spaces that have been contaminated with sewage, as toxic, flammable or asphyxiating or even explosive gases including methane and hydrogen sulfide as well as airborne pathogens may be present. Keep children & pets out of the sewage-spill area.”

Read the rest of their warning here.

More health issues

Home Design Website also came up with a feature on sewage back-ups and what it means to the whole household’s over-all wellness. Apart from gas hazards, their web post emphasized the possible pathogens that live in the sewage water that has inundated the home.

“Raw sewage is an ideal medium for many pathogenic organisms that grow outside the body. Botulism – a powerful toxin – is produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, which can be produced in raw sewage where there is little oxygen. E-coli, salmonella, campylobacter, intestinal amoebas, shigella and even cholera are included in the list of pathogens that can be carried in raw sewage.”

Take a look at the full text of the article here.

Dangerous chemicals can also be present in the sewage water. This can be in the form of cleansers that may have been flushed in the toilet or the drain. It is important that every household member vacate the area immediately and refrain from touching any part of the home that has been touched by the flood water.