A septic system is a dangerous system, particularly for those who don't have the training and gear to avoid the dangers. As a homeowner, you face several dangers if you decide to handle your septic work on your own.
The dangers of septic systems range from diseases to accidental injuries, and the injuries range from mild issues to potentially fatal ones. Here are some of the specific dangers you may experience around a septic tank.
Cave-in or Collapse
Old or damaged septic tanks can cave in and collapse. With time, the walls or cover of a septic tank deteriorates and becomes unable to support the external pressure on the tank. Tank covers or walls may also weaken if you constantly operate heavy machinery around the tank's location.
If you fall into a septic tank, you may break your limbs, suffer lacerations, and expose yourself to dangerous germs. To get out of a septic tank without help is also difficult.
Septic tanks produce several gases as byproducts of the treatment process. Some of these gases, such as methane, are highly explosive. You can easily suffer burn injuries or even burn down your home if you expose an open flame to the septic tank gases. For example, you may cause an explosion if you try to insect a damaged septic tank with a cigarette lighter.
Asphyxiation is what you feel if your body doesn't get adequate oxygen. The condition can lead to unconsciousness or even death if you don't get help soon enough. Since septic treatment processes produce lots of gases, the area around or inside a septic tank has limited oxygen.
You might breathe in such dangerous gases, instead of oxygen, if you spend too much time around the tank. Without adequate oxygen, you may fall unconscious and even fall into the septic tank where you might suffer further injuries.
A typical septic tank is chockfull of dangerous microorganisms. The infectious microorganisms may make you ill if they get into your body through your mouth or open skin such as wounds. For example, germs may get into your bloodstream via cuts on your hands or legs.
Lastly, you also risk electrical shock or electrocution if you try any DIY maintenance where you have to dig around the septic tank. If you dig without confirming the location of electrical utility lines, you might hit some of the electrical lines and suffer electrical shock.
A septic tank is a dangerous system to work around. Take the following precautions any time to avoid septic tank injuries.
Identify Tank Location
Know where your septic tank is to reduce the risk of accidental injury. You can ask the previous owner of the property, look for marks that previous owners may have left, or engage the services of a septic system technician to help you locate the tank. Once you identify the location of the tank, mark it and avoid unnecessary activities around the location.
Avoid Open Flames
Don't use open flames, such as cigarette lighters, around the septic tank. Use flashlights if you have to inspect your septic tank.
Avoid DIY Service
Ideally, leave septic maintenance and services to professional technicians. The professionals have the tools, safety gear, skills, and experience to avoid injuries.
Avoid Solo Work
If you must work around a septic tank, don't do it alone. Get an assistant who can help you or call for emergency services in case something goes wrong.
Hopefully, you won't suffer any injuries related to your septic tank activities. Leave all septic maintenance and repair issues to Al's Septic Tank Service. We have the tools and skills to deal with all septic issues safely, so don't hesitate to contact us.