Sewer damage is not only one of the dirtiest substances to deluge your home; it is also one of the most dangerous. Sewage is defined as, water-carried waste that is intended to be removed from a community. People often think of sewage as human waste, but it actually consists of much more. Along with the water used to flush toilets, sewage contains used water from your sink, tub, shower, dishwasher, and clothes washer as well as soaps, detergents, and toilet paper. Anything that can be poured down a drain or flushed down a toilet is in sewage. Human excrement is the most dangerous of all of these, but the combination of so many different substances make sewage even more hazardous.
Bacteria, Parasites, Fungi, and Viruses
Bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses are all pathogens, or disease causing organisms, and allergens found in raw sewage. These can cause serious illnesses and, in extreme cases, can be fatal. Some of these organisms and the illnesses caused by them are as follows:
- Bacteria such as E. coli can cause gastrointestinal diseases. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
- Salmonella is one of the more threatening bacteria found in raw sewage, as it does not need a host to survive. Symptoms include those of gastroenteritis, typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, and other commonalities of food poisoning.
- Adenoviruses cause respiratory infections such as pneumonia, croup, and bronchitis.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is typically a sexually transmitted disease, but it is possible to contract through raw sewage. Wart growth, along with cervical, genital, and anal cancer, is caused by HPV.
- Rotavirus causes severe diarrhea and high fevers.
- Roundworm is a parasitic disease that blocks the intestinal track. This can cause inflammation of the body and malabsorption will result in malnutrition and anorexia.
- Tapeworm is a parasitic disease that feeds on the intestinal track. This can result in fatigue, weight loss, and in severe cases, neurological damage, and seizures.
Germs in raw sewage from sewer damage can enter the body through the nose, mouth, open wounds, and inhalation of aerosols or dusts. The most common means of infection are through drinking contaminated water or hand-to-mouth transmission meaning you have touched the raw sewage and then touched your mouth thereby ingesting it. It is extremely important to know that if you have an open wound exposed to raw sewage, seek medical attention immediately. This can cause Tetanus and there is a high risk of death occurring if infected.
Call a Professional
If you find yourself faced with sewer damage, the best thing to do is leave the area immediately and call a professional. Do not enter confined spaces that have been contaminated with sewage, as toxic, flammable, or asphyxiating gases may be present.
Rainbow International Restoration is a premier restoration company certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning & Restoration Certification (IICRC) and they are available for you 24/7. Every one of their certified, educated, and experienced technicians has passed a background check and is someone you will welcome and trust in your home. Rainbow International Restoration knows communication is key and they keep you in the loop every step of the way. In addition, they work with your insurance company to get your needs taken care of as soon as possible. Call them at 877-853-2445 and let them do the work for you!