We all know that septic systems need routine maintenance or else small problems can turn into bigger ones. Inexpensive fixes turn into expensive projects quickly if left unchecked. It could be as simple as a clogged toilet or a cracked septic tank that needs to be replaced.

However, unfixed issues lead to more severe problems as well. Like your health. But, what are some septic system health risks and what do you need to know about them? How can you stop them before they happen?

This post will inform you about the three major causes of septic related illnesses.

Three Causes of Septic System Health Risks

But, First! Let’s Talk Septic History.

Imagine. You’re living in a 17th-century city. Just going about your business selling your vegetable produce or maybe your wool cloth at the town market. But, watch out! Someone’s throwing trash out on the street from their second-story window. And, it includes their human waste….hope you’ve been practicing your fancy footwork.

Civilizations back in medieval Europe suffered from poor hygiene and inadequate sewer structures. Many died at the hands of cholera, typhoid fever, and dysentery (yes…it’s been around way earlier than the Oregon Trail has). Sewage water was also a breeding ground for fleas, which found their way to animals. Animals like pets….now, welcome the Black Plague.

But, we’re past this now. Half a millennium past this. We have sophisticated sewage systems. However, our backyard septic system can still affect our health when not maintained properly.

Causes of Septic System Health Risks

1. Illness-Causing Pathogens in Your Septic System

Below is a list of some of the major ones to know.

  • Bacterial
    • Salmonellosis
    • Trachoma
    • Meliodosis
    • E. Coli
  • Viral
    • Gastroenteritis
    • Hepatitis A
  • Diseases from Parasites
    • Tapework infection
    • Hookworm infection
    • Giardiasis

How do you come into contact with these disease-causing pathogens?

It can be from direct contact with sewage or toilet waste. A clogged, overflowing toilet is one way. Or a leaking pipe that leads to standing water in a drain field is another.

Always wash your hands if you come into direct contact with septic wastewater.

You can also fall ill from indirect contact with sewage waste. It could come from your dog or cat, who drank or rolled around in the leaked sewage water. Or, sewage spills could contaminate the drinking water and expose you to unwanted bacteria.

Raw sewage contamination could lead to fungal and respiratory infections too.

2. Chemical Contaminants in your Septic System

A leaking pipe could release wastewater that contains harmful chemicals. These could seep into the groundwater and find their way into your drinking water — one of the significant septic system health risks not just for you, but for your community as well.Putting harmful chemicals into your septic system automatically puts you at a more significant risk of illness. Such toxic substances are:

3. Dangerous Gases in your Septic System

If you have a broken septic system, your problems could be worse than just a Rotten Eggs smell.

Septic systems have naturally occurring dangerous gases. These gases can include:

Side effects can include:

  • Mouth, nose, and throat irritation
  • Permanent lung damage
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Asphyxiation

Remember to call someone if you have a problem with your septic tank. The gases are highly concentrated inside. They are flammable and very toxic. You should not go near or try to fix your septic tank yourself. Call someone immediately.

A trusted professional can point out the problem more quickly than you can. Gases don’t need a large opening in order to seep into your house.

You may not even know. Methane is an odorless gas. This is why regular maintenance is essential to your home septic system.

Preventing Septic System Health Risks & Septic Problems

To prevent these problems, we need to go over what some of the signs are.

Signs of Septic Problems

  • Overflowing toilet: Try to remove a clog quickly. If you can’t, call a trusted professional to assess the problem.
  • Overflowing septic tank: This can include everything from your sink and bathroom.
  • Standing water: Could mean an overflowing septic tank. This can also happen in a season of heavy rainfall.
  • Odors: Your septic system could be leaking dangerous gases into your house or the surrounding environment.

Remember, keeping your septic maintenance regular will ensure that you catch septic problems quickly. If you notice any sign of the septic problems above, make sure to call someone immediately to have it checked out. It’s always better safe than sorry and can save you money in the long run.

If you have questions, contact Advanced Septic Services of Florida at 352.242.6100.