A septic tank is a chamber located beneath the soil which can be made of plastic, fiberglass, and concrete. Household wastewater flows into the septic tank for some basic treatment. Septic systems are also built to provide treatment on the wastewater where homeowners get their drinking water from the private wells. If a septic system is not working properly, the water well can be contaminated by the wastewater. This is one of the reasons why frequent septic tank maintenance is important.
Septic tank systems are highly at risk and vulnerable right after flooding. After the flooding, homeowners must avoid pumping the tank. Pumping out the wastewater might cause the tank to float out of the soil since it has been softened by the flood, damaging the inlet and outlet pipes. The best solution in this situation is to plug the drains within the basement to decrease water use in the house.
Consequences of An Unmaintained Septic Tank
Water used to wash the dishes, clothes, and taking a bath must be optimally clean. However, the most important water would be for drinking purposes. Water for drinking must be clean, with no bacteria as much as possible. If a septic system has a problem and it is not fixed, the wastewater can contaminate the water used for the household.
If the sewage is not properly treated, the contents could find their way through leakage to pollute the groundwater. If even a tiny bit of the wastewater comes into contact with the clean water, it could get people seriously ill. There are some cases where it could lead to serious health problems, depending on what bacteria and unpleasant chemicals leaked to the clean water. To ensure there is no leakage, regular septic tank maintenance must be carried out.
Danger to Drivers and Vehicles
Septic tank leakages are risky in various ways. When a septic tank leaks, it can release a liquid that has a foul odor that can pose a danger to the health. The leak can lead to the vehicle’s tires getting stuck on the sludge or mud. This is dangerous as it can cause slipping or skidding when the vehicle goes over it.
Driving around areas where there was a septic leak is particularly dangerous since there are components that are not absorbed by the ground. Moreover, the vehicle will have dirty wastewater components stuck on the tires which can be brought within the home’s garage.
A septic tank that has hazardous chemicals mixed in the wastewater will contain dangerous fumes. If the leak is not repaired or fixed, the leak can let the fumes out and lower the oxygen levels. Sewage systems have a gas build-up. When the gas escapes the oxygen might be depleted which could lead to problems for humans and animals.
Damage the Home
In severe cases of septic leaks, a leakage could damage the entire home. If the leak is too big that it can send the wastewater to the above-ground and into the home, it could damage the house. Larger leaks can lead to flooding which is a serious problem. This situation jeopardizes the family’s health and the sanitation of the home.
This is the biggest problem with faulty septic tanks. In the United States, septic systems are some of the sources of contamination in groundwater. Viruses, parasites, bacteria, and other pathogens are considered hazardous for humans. Fungi growing on sewage sludge is also a problem that can cause infections to the respiratory system, the eyes, and the skin.
Even if the leak is not immense, the viruses and bacteria can transport rapidly to contaminate nearby water sources. Some bacteria found in wastewater can be responsible for diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and gastroenteritis. The pathogens can infect the intestinal tract that can cause diarrhea, nausea, and fever.
Viruses cannot multiply outside the host but if there is enough virus that survives on the leaked wastewater, it can still lead to illnesses. Some wastewater viruses can be polio, Hepatitis A, and viral gastroenteritis.
The parasites living in wastewater are parasitic worms and protozoans. People who drink water polluted by protozoans can lead to severe diarrhea leading to dehydration. Eggs of tapeworms and roundworms found on untreated wastewater might be ingested.
To avoid these problems, regular septic tank maintenance must be done. The costs of the consequences brought by damaged septic tanks will be significantly higher compared to simply keeping the systems maintained. Prevent these troubles by becoming prudent with maintaining and repairing the septic systems.