The safe disposal of sewage prevents the spread of disease. A properly sited, properly operating and regularly maintained septic system will effectively and efficiently remove disease-causing bacteria. Approximately one-third of the US population depends on septic systems to remove their waste. That means that over 1 trillion gallons of waste per year is disposed of below the ground’s surface from individual septic systems.
If your septic system is failing, you could end up with more than just a huge mess in and around your home. You could also put the health of yourself, your family and your community at risk if you do not have your septic system properly serviced and repaired.
Inadequately treated sewage from failing septic systems poses a significant threat to drinking water and human health because diseases and infections may be transferred to people and animals directly and immediately. Dysentery, hepatitis, typhoid fever, and acute gastrointestinal illness are some of the more serious examples. Inadequately treated sewage from failing septic systems is the most frequently reported cause of groundwater contamination.
Septic tank fumes often carry airborne bacteria as well that can cause sinus infections and other respiratory problems. A failing septic system can also send mold spores back into your home, causing problems for those with asthma and mold allergies. If left untreated, these spores can lead to the growth of dangerous mold in parts of your home that are prone to moisture buildup, such as basements and bathrooms. Mold remediation is an expensive and difficult job, making it that much more important to take care of known septic issues immediately.
The Problem With Gasses:
When a septic system is failing, the fumes that are released from the various gasses built up in the septic tank can be toxic to humans and pets. Methane, for example, is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, flammable gas. Although it is non-toxic, methane is a “simple asphyxiant” because it can displace oxygen, which is needed for breathing. Methane is also extremely flammable and can explode quite easily.
Nitrate poses a significant threat to the health of human infants. When ingested, nitrate can interfere with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, causing methemoglobinemia or “blue baby” syndrome.
Sulfide gas is another common septic emission that can cause trouble. The odor is commonly described as smelling like rotten eggs. Exposure to low levels of this chemical can irritate the eyes, cause a cough or sore throat, shortness of breath and fluid accumulation in the lungs. Prolonged low-level exposure may cause fatigue, pneumonia, loss of appetite, headaches, irritability, memory loss and dizziness. High concentrations of hydrogen sulfide can cause loss of consciousness and death.
How to Prevent Problems:
- Regularly pump and maintain your septic system
- Conserve water in your home or business
- Redirect surface water flow away from your systems leach field
- Place a buffer or greenbelt between your leach field and the shoreline
- Replace your septic system, if necessary
- Construct new septic systems as far away from the shoreline as possible
If you suspect that your septic system might be failing, don’t wait to take action. Call us at (951) 780-5922 right away. We have professionals ready to answer your questions and get your system working properly again.