Sewage or sewer backups should ALWAYS be cleaned up by a professional water restoration company. Aside from the obvious sewage contaminants from sewer lines, there is so much water pollution, that even our drinking water can contain harmful pathogens like chemicals, drug residuals, pesticides and more, it seems wise to hire professionals to keep your exposure to a minimum.
Any used water is considered wastewater. From a personal perspective, coming from our toilets (sewage), showers, and sinks to the commercial, agricultural and industrial locations, (toxic sludge, solvents and metals).
Rain carries chemicals, grease, salt, oil and other garbage from areas such as roads and other impermeable surfaces into our waterways and this is considered storm water runoff.
Did you know that 80% of wastewater flows back into the environment without the benefit of being treated or reused? In the United States, only 34 billion gallons a day goes through wastewater treatment facilities. The water is treated and released back into the waterways, and 850 billion gallons of wastewater per year go back into our waterways, and is due to our countries aging water system and overwhelmed sewage treatment plants.
Water pollution causes
Water can dissolve and mix with many substances such as chemicals, pesticides, and other toxic matter from industrial waste as well as agricultural runoff creating even more water pollution.
3 Categories of water pollution.
Groundwater is easily polluted as falling rain seeps into the porous spaces, crack and crevices of an aquifer, becoming groundwater. It is one of our most important resources, even though invisible. Forty percent of Americans rely on groundwater for drinking water, coming from wells. Fertilizers, pesticides, water from septic systems and leached water from landfills can make their way into the ground water. This water can also make its way into lakes, rivers and oceans.
Surface water covers 70% of the earth, filling lakes, rivers and oceans. Freshwater sources account for 60% of water going to American homes. There sources are in real danger. As of 2018, nearly 1/2 of our streams and rivers and more than 1/3 of our lakes are unfit for fishing, swimming and drinking. Phosphates and nitrates are the biggest pollutants coming from farm waste and fertilizer runoff. Illegal industry dumping of junk in the waterways is another major concern.
Ocean Water, whether far inland or along the coast contain such contaminants as heavy metals, nutrients and chemicals from factories, farms, and cities and are carried into rivers, and streams into estuaries and bays where it then travels out to sea. Marine garbage such as plastics come in through storm drains, sewers or wind and making its way to the water source. Let’s also not forget about oil spills and carbon pollution from the air.
Effects on Human Health.
In just 5 years from now, over half of the world’s population will be living in water stressed areas. Water pollution, (yes, the drinkable water) causes almost 2 million deaths a year.
Contaminated water sickens 1 billion people a year. Waterborne pathogens such as viruses from human/animal waste, and disease-causing bacteria are major causes of illness from contaminated drinking water. Typhoid, Giardia, Cholera and Cryptosporidia are the most common. Illegal and sometimes accidental sewage treatment facility released into the water ways, and farm runoffs account for most of this type contamination. A severe type of pneumonia called Legionnaires is also an illness caused by contaminated waters entering cooling systems.
Whether or not you are dealing with “clean water” backups or sewer line/sewage drain backups. Always call a professional.