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The Health Risks of Exposure to Wastewater

Sewage spills and backups are among the most dangerous disasters that can occur on your property. It is possible that you may experience a sewage/wastewater leak in your home for a myriad of reasons, from burst pipes to catastrophic storms. But no matter what the reason is, it is essential that you act immediately to stop a sewage leak.

You may notice standing “grey water” in your basement following a disaster. Not only can this type of water cause serious damage to the structural integrity of your property, it can also be extremely harmful to any individuals who come in contact with it. Grey water is what’s known as “Category 2” water damage, while “Category 3” includes toxic black water. Even more dangerous than grey water, black water is a common side effect of rising flood water seeping into your basement.

At FP Property Restoration, we offer professional sewage cleanup services to ensure that your property is always protected from dangerous wastewater. Keep reading for everything you need to know about the health risks of exposure to wastewater, and remember that for 24/7 emergency assistance, you can always call our trained and certified technicians at FP Property Restoration.

5 Health Risks Linked to Sewage Water

  1. Viruses: Dangerous viruses such as norovirus, sapovirus, rotavirus, astrovirus, and adenovirus have all been found in wastewater before. These viruses can trigger a range of symptoms and conditions, including gastroenteritis, which is often confused for stomach flu but is actually much more serious. Signs you may be dealing with gastroenteritis include diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, and excessive vomiting. Another virus, poliomyelitis, has even been known to cause temporary or permanent paralysis. Symptoms associated with this virus include sore throat, fever, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and abdominal pain. Bottom line: there are too many viruses present in wastewater for you to ever risk not seeking service from a professional as soon as a sewage leak occurs.
  2. Bacteria: In addition to viruses, bacterial pathogens such as salmonella, shigella, vibrio, campylobacter and E. Coli have all been linked to wastewater contamination in the United States. One bacterial infection that can result from sewage exposure is campylobacteriosis, which has been known to cause bloody stool, fever, cramping, and vomiting. Other bacterial infections can become bloodborne, and eventually cause life-threatening issues if not treated promptly. E. Coli, for instance, can turn into hemolytic uremic syndrome, and if left untreated, may eventually cause kidney failure and death. While it is impossible to avoid certain kinds of bacteria in your house, wastewater exposure can be more than just unsanitary, it can be deadly. Again, this is why it’s always important to hire a professional following a wastewater spill ASAP.
  3. Parasites: Much like bacteria and viruses, there are a number of parasitic organisms that can be found in domestic wastewater. The four most common in the U.S. include nematodes, Ascaris spp., Trichuris, and Toxocara spp. Diseases that can be caused in humans by these parasites include cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis. Symptoms you may experience when suffering from the latter condition include dehydration, stomach cramps or pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and sudden weight loss. Giardiasis, meanwhile, elicits many of the same symptoms, in addition to bloating, headaches, and excessive gas. While it is unlikely for you to come in contact with these parasites most of the time, it becomes much more likely the second you are exposed to a sewage leak. That’s why at FP Property Restoration, we are always available to help keep you, your family, and your pets safe.
  4. Fungi: Sewage fungi essentially consists of filamentous bacteria, which is associated with fungi and protozoa. This slimy growth can be found in sewage and sewage polluted water in the U.S. and beyond. Common examples include Sphaesolilus natans, Beggiotoa alba, and Fusarium aquaeductuum. Aspergillus, another kind of conidial fungi found in raw sewage, may cause allergy inflammation, lung infections, and make asthma and other respiratory issues worse. While you may be less likely to get sick from a sewage fungus than from other pathogens, it is important to remember that fungi can also be extremely dangerous under the right circumstances, and are therefore another reason to take care of a sewage leak immediately.
  5. Gasses: Hydrogen sulfide is the most common kind of sewer gas, though there are other types that may cause harm to human beings. Hydrogen sulfide poisoning is a risk if one is exposed to this gas for too long, however, you are more likely to experience irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract. Other symptoms of exposure to hydrogen sulfide include nervousness, dizziness, nausea, headache, and drowsiness. Of course you already know that sewer gas sells nasty, but don’t forget the health effects either. If you smell this odor on your property, call FP Property Restoration right away to prevent a potential sewage leak.

FP Property Restoration is available by phone at (888) 408-2335. You can also contact us online.

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