What is sewage?
The term may be used to mean raw sewage, sewage sludge, or septic tank waste. Raw sewage is mainly water containing excrement, industrial effluent and debris, such as sanitary towels, plastic, etc. Excrement is the major source of harmful micro-organisms, including bacteria, viruses and parasites. Sewage treatment reduces the water content and removes debris, but does not kill or remove all the micro-organisms.
What are the health risks?
Exposure to sewage or its products may result in a number of illnesses. These include:
1. Gastroenteritis, characterised by cramping stomach pains, diarrhoea and vomiting
2. Weil's disease, a flu-like illness with persistent and severe headache, transmitted by rat urine.
3. Damage to liver, kidneys and blood may occur and the condition can be fatal
4. Hepatitis, characterised by inflammation of the liver, and jaundice
5. Occupational asthma, resulting in attacks of breathlessness, chest tightness and wheezing, and
produced by the inhalation of living or dead organisms
6. Infection of skin or eyes
7. Rarely, allergic alveolitis (inflammation of the lung) with fever, breathlessness, dry cough, and
aching muscles and joints
How do micro-organisms enter the body?
1. The most common way is by hand-to-mouth contact during eating, drinking and smoking, or by wiping the face with contaminated hands or gloves, or by licking splashes from the skin.
2. By skin contact, through cuts, scratches, or penetrating wounds, ie from discarded hypodermic needles. Certain organisms can enter the body through the surfaces of the eyes, nose and mouth.
3. By breathing them in, as either dust, aerosol or mist.
Please contact us if you have any unreported sewer problems.