Don’t Gripe, Fix that Sewage Pipe!
When municipal sewer lines break, local authorities don’t take any risks. A few weeks ago, you may have noticed that a lane on Lejeune Boulevard in Jacksonville was closed. What happened, you ask? Well, a broken sewer pipe was found while a nasty sinkhole problem was being investigated. Luckily the pipe burst was spotting relatively early on and the sewage leak hadn’t done all that much damage. Even with a small sewage leak it’s essential to act fast and get a sewage backup cleanup team on the job fast. Remember – don’t gripe, fix that pipe!
What are the health risks of exposure to raw sewage?
Raw sewage consists of fecal waste and other materials accumulated through garbage disposals, toilets and other residential and commercial drainage systems. As a result, there are high levels of fecal coliform found in sewer contents. The health risks of exposure are significant. Sewage pathogens include bacteria, parasites and viruses. When ingested the results are infections and diarrhea. Although people usually recover in a few days, it can cause death to those with weak immune systems. Raw sewage can also cause gastroenteritis, causing problems such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, dysentery, cholera, infectious hepatitis and vomiting.
What should you do if you have a sewage backup or pipe burst in your home?
The first thing to do is to immediately locate and turn off your water valve. This valve is located outside the home or business and will turn off water to the entire building. This is especially important if there is a toilet overflow and will stop the problem from getting any worse. Next, call a professional water damage restoration company that can safely handle a sewage backup. You team a 24/7 team of professionals that knows what to do to completely restore your space and maintain a healthy environment.
It is especially important that children and pets not be exposed to contamination when sewage is involved. In cases such as a serious sewage backup it makes sense for everyone to leave the immediate area so as to not be exposed to raw sewage. In case of a flood, if time permits, your furniture and other important things should be moved to a high area to prevent damage prior to everyone leaving the area. Only move items away if you can do so safely!
What is a backflow valve and why is it important?
Sewage backflow valves are designed to protect your home from sewage backing up. If you are located in a flood plain area and are issued a flood warning, closing the valve will allow water to flow out but prevent sewage or other water from flowing back in. The strongest valve to have is called a gate valve which provides a strong seal but is not automatic and must be operated by hand. Backflow valves must be installed on all drain lines in the house including laundry drains to be completely effective. From the smallest sewage leak in your home to a bigger break like the one on Lejeune Blvd., every sewage backup is cause for concern and should be repaired by qualified professionals.