NJ Sewer Service Contractors
Sewer backups can be dangerous! Call us today at A1 Sewer & Drain Services for
same-day sewer services in NJ, at 201-645-0888.
As NJ sewer service contractors, we sometimes have to get a little too close to sewage. When we come into contact with raw sewage, we must use hazmat gear and take special precautions. Sewage can present serious hazards to human health, including toxic sewer gases and pathogenic bacteria. Because of this, a sewer backup in your home can be dangerous.
At A1 Sewer & Drain Services, we’re always available for 24-hour emergency sewer services in New Jersey, including sewer repairs, sewer cleaning, and sewer backflow water removal. It’s important that sewage removal is handled by professionals in protective gear. For service in as little as 45 minutes from your call, call us today at 201-645-0888.
Sewer gas is a combination of gases, some of which are toxic, that emanate from raw sewage and collect in areas without ventilation. Gases emitted by sewage can contain hydrogen sulfide– responsible for the rotten egg smell common to sewer water– along with methane, ammonia, esters, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides.
Under normal conditions, plumbing traps with water seals prevent sewer gases from seeping up through drains into human habitations. Vents in plumbing systems allow the gases to be safely vented outdoors. A leaking drain or sewer pipe, or even a cracked foundation, can potentially allow sewer gases indoors.
Risks associated with sewer gas exposure include:
- Hydrogen sulfide poisoning. Hydrogen sulfide, a poisonous gas with a distinctive rotten egg smell, can be detected by human olfaction at concentrations as low as 0.47 parts per billion. At 10 parts per million, it begins to cause eye irritation, with serious eye damage occurring at 50 ppm. Other symptoms of hydrogen sulfide exposure include nausea, dizziness, headaches, and drowsiness. Pulmonary edema can occur at higher levels, and hydrogen sulfide is lethal at 800-1,000 ppm.
- Asphyxiation. Sewer gases in sufficient quantities can displace oxygen inside a indoor area, potentially causing suffocation.
- Fires and explosions. Methane and hydrogen sulfide are explosive, and vapors from improperly vented sewage can increase the risk of a fire or explosion.
If you smell hydrogen sulfide, you should call a certified plumber as soon as possible for drain or sewer repair.
Microorganisms in Sewage
Along with toxic gases, sewage also contains a host of bacteria and other microorganisms, many of which can cause serious illnesses. Some of the common dangerous bacteria and parasites in sewage include:
- Campylobacter jejuni. One of the most common causes of food poisoning in New Jersey, this bacteria is found in human and animal feces. About 2 million cases of Campylobacter gastroenteritis occur in the United States each year.
- Escherichia coli. E. coli is found in the lower intestines of mammals, including humans. Many strains are capable of causing disease, especially gastrointestinal infections. E. coli can be fatal for very young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.
- Salmonella enterica. Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause typhoid fever and food poisoning.
- Giardia. Giardia is a genus of protozoans that can colonize the intestines, producing an infection called giardiasis.