Understand the Environmental and Health Risks Posed by Exposure to Sewer Gas

Sewer GasThe significance of low odor concentrations emanating from the drainage system can’t be underestimated with regards to the aesthetic and health concerns of your establishment. Gasses that are given off during the decay process of the waste products in the drainage are the cause of the odor.

Sewer Gas

When organic matter is being broken down by bacteria in the sewage system, a mixture of gasses are given off, collectively termed as sewer gasses. Some are toxic, while others are not. Hydrogen sulfide (distinct rotten egg odor), methane and ammonia are some of the toxic sewer gasses.

Industrial waste also contributes to the formation of other toxic gasses, which are of significance to human and environmental concerns. Some sewer gasses are a potential source of explosion or fire hazards and should be dealt with promptly.

Impact on Health

Health effects of sewer gasses are tied to the type of gas that you are exposed to. The following are some of the potential health risks of sewer gasses exposure:

  • Hydrogen sulfide poisoning: according to a publication of The Department of Health, North Dakota, hydrogen sulfide exposure even at low levels can be detected by the human sense of smell. This possesses the risk of eye irritation and a host of respiratory problems.
  • Asphyxiation (deficient oxygen supply): poorly ventilated rooms with some of the sewer gasses such as methane that displaces oxygen can result in suffocation and eventually death.
  • Fire hazard: highly inflammable sewer gasses such as methane and hydrogen sulfide are a potential source of explosion when ignited.

Remedial Measures

The first recommended step will be for you to identify the source of the sewer gas. Removal of pipe blockages, as well as running water on dry drainage, may easily be the solution to the perennial stench. It’s advisable to contact experienced plumbing contractors if the source of the smell is not in an easily accessible area for further inspection and repairs.

Perennial sewer stench sources should be identified and resolved to avoid the adverse environmental and health effects of exposure to the sewer gasses.