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3 Reasons a Backed-Up Septic Tank Isa Health Hazard

If your septic tank is backed up, you may see it as a major mess and hassle with which you have to deal. However, the sewage backing up into your home and possibly leaking out into the surrounding soil can also result in adverse health effects. There are reasons why not having your home's backed up sewer lines cleaned out promptly can be hazardous to your health.

1. Increases the Spread of Germs

The fecal matter and other human waste that comprises the sewage inside your septic tank is a breeding ground for germs. Not only does it contain microbes normally excreted by the body, but the raw waste products harbored inside the dark tank also create an ideal growing environment for bacteria and viruses.

When the sewage in your septic tank backs up into your home's main sewer line, it carries the germs with it. Once it starts coming up through your bathroom and kitchen drains, bacteria such as E. coli and viruses such as those that cause gastroenteritis contaminate your fixtures.

Even if you are meticulous about cleaning the surfaces, you may not be able to completely kill all of the germs. As you and your family come into contact with the fixtures, you run the risk of contracting a serious illness.

However, your indoor fixtures are not the only possible contact point for the germs carried in the sewage. If your backed-up septic tank starts leaking into the soil around it, the sewage can then rise to the surface.

If you have pets, they may walk through the waste material and track it into your home. This could then spread the germs throughout your house.

2. Emits Toxic Fumes in Your House

Raw sewage is not the only potential danger you should worry about when your septic tank backs up. The waste materials inside your tank also produce noxious fumes that could come up into your home through your drains.

The fumes that are emitted from sewage can irritate a person's lungs. If anyone in your home already suffers from a respiratory illness, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma, they may start to notice an increase in the frequency and severity of their symptoms. 

However, if the tank stays backed up for an extended period, the fumes could start to adversely affect even healthy lungs as the gases become more concentrated inside your house. If you detect a foul odor that resembles rotten eggs in your home, crack your windows, then call to have your septic tank inspected as soon as possible.

3. Contaminates Surrounding Water Sources

When your septic tank backs up, your home is not the only thing that can be affected. As the pressure and amount of waste material build up inside the tank, sewage may start to leak out of the system and contaminate the surrounding soil.

If raw sewage contaminates the soil, water running off from the surrounding area then carries the bacteria and viruses along with it. If you or your neighbors depend on a well for drinking water, the well could become contaminated.

When you, your family, or your neighbors drink from the well, you could become very ill. If you start noticing a patch of wet, lush grass above your septic tank, it has likely started leaking and should be taken care of by a professional as soon as possible.

If you know your septic tank is backed up and suspect that it has started leaking, your and your family's health could be at risk. Contact Stinky's Septic and Carolina Septic as soon as possible to discuss your options for removing the clog and fixing any issues to get your system working properly once again.