Health and safety alert: Consequences of a backed-up plumbing system.

Health and safety alert: Consequences of a backed-up plumbing system.

Most homes have had or will have problems with backed-up plumbing systems. 



backed-up plumbing system

Take action at the first sign of problems to avoid a backed-up plumbing system.

Some of these plumbing problems are minor and can be fixed quickly without causing further damage. There are other serious cases that are not easy to deal with, and they require qualified professionals to manage problem and repair the plumbing system.

When the plumbing system backs up it can result in severe consequences that affect every individual in the house.

The problem is mainly caused by materials that block the drainage system, hampering the flow of the waste water. The sewer water finds points of exit at the low-pressure ends within the system such as the bathtub, sink or other bathroom drainage points. This waste water back-up renders the bathroom and other places within the house unusable and poses a great danger to the home’s residents.

Signs of a backed-up plumbing system.


  • Flushing the toilet causes the water to come out through the bathtub or shower is a big sign of a clog in the system.
  • Sink and waste water comes up through the bathtub or the bathroom drainage points.
  • Clothes washer water doesn’t flow to the drainage system.


Consequences of a backed-up plumbing system.


Health concerns.


The waste water from the backed up drainage system is a top agent for the disease-causing microorganisms. Some of the diseases caused by such germs include

Bacterial infections that result in

  • Diarrhea
  • Trachoma
  • Shigellosis
  • Salmonellosis
  • Melioidosis


Viral diseases that can result.


  • Hepatitis A
  • Gastroenteritis


Parasites can be contracted from raw sewage.


  • Hookworm infections
  • Giardiasis
  • Strongyloidiasis
  • Threadworms
  • Dwarf tapeworm infection

Most of the above diseases are severe and may result in death or cause other serious complications. They can be transmitted directly by coming into contact with the sewerage water or indirectly through contact with other agents such as cockroaches, flies and rodents.


Effects of inhaling raw sewage gas.


Blocked plumbing systems also result in the production of toxic gases such as hydrogen sulphide, carbon dioxide, ammonia and methane. These gases are unpleasant and can have unpleasant physiological consequences. When inhaled, one may experience headaches, dizziness, mucous membrane irritation, fatigue and shortness of breath. They are also very dangerous to asthmatic individuals.


Damage to equipment and utensils.


When the sewage runs over equipment, furnishings and utensils in the house, it can make them unusable, causing huge losses to the homeowners. It’s inconceivable that anyone would want to reuse furniture or any other household item that has been contaminated by sewage.


Destruction of plumbing systems.


A backed-up plumbing system may result in the destruction of the drainage pipes and other plumbing utilities. It is always advised and more convenient to be vigilant and resolve any plumbing problem as soon as it becomes apparent, rather than waiting for it to build up and result in further losses.

Published by Charlie Teschner

Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.