Septic systems and tanks are important on-site waste disposal systems. They take in waste from the property and treat it within the main holding tank before discharging effluent into the surrounding drainfield. Waste from the home contains many different harmful components that can cause infection and disease.
For example, if sewage spills from the home without undergoing septic tank treatment, the bacteria, fungi and viruses in both organic and inorganic waste can result in negative health effects. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your septic system is operating correctly to avoid such harmful components.
Here are some of the components of septic tank waste that can be potentially harmful to you and others.
Bacteria are microscopic organisms that are present in many different substances. Not all bacteria are harmful, as some are actually necessary for treating septic waste inside the tank itself. However, household waste can contain pathogenic bacteria from organic waste in the home.
Pathogens cause many different diseases such as cholera, typhoid and tuberculosis. Because of the risk of pathogenic bacteria, septic tank waste should be handled with care at all times. Any leaks in the septic tank (or drainage pipes that are blocked) should be fixed as soon as possible to avoid contamination by bacteria.
Viruses are less common septic waste contaminants, but they should be avoided nonetheless. Viruses are highly infectious organisms that can cause diseases such as influenza. You should avoid directly touching any solid waste items within the septic tank.
If you obtain any cuts and bruises as a result, viruses may find a path into your body via the wound.
As waste enters the septic tank, it is often treated by bacteria to release nitrogen. High concentrations of nitrogen should not be released directly into the air or surrounding soil. In addition, nitrogen can dissolve in water deposits to form nitrates that can contaminate drinking water.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that your septic tank is working efficiently to treat nitrogenous waste. If the tank is working correctly, it will separate all household waste into distinct layers that can be subsequently treated.
Septic waste also contains parasitic worms such as roundworms and tapeworms. Worms can infect the body and cause many different diseases, so it is important to ensure that all septic waste is treated in the tank before it is discharged as effluent into the drainfield.