News Release: April 4, 2014
Sewage Line Leaks Threaten Health of Residents & Employees, Warns
Leaks, separations, and breaks in sewer plumbing lines inside
the walls, floor, crawl space, and basement enable dangerous untreated, raw
sewage to enter into the living and working areas of homes and commercial
“Raw sewage can facilitate the growth of dangerous indoor health threats
such as toxic mold growth, botulism, E-coli, salmonella, campylobacter,
intestinal amoebas, shigella, and cholera, which are dangerous pathogens
that can grow and multiply in raw sewage,” warns Phillip Fry, Certified
Environmental Hygienist and Professional Industrial Hygienist.
While the bacteria and germs that commonly live in the human intestines are
not dangerous while inside the intestines, these microorganisms can cause
many serious illnesses if ingested or go airborne after leaving the body in
Sewage line leaks are commonly caused by age and corrosion deterioration and
degradation of the sewage pipe connections and pipes over time, by the
settling down of the ground and buildings, and by earthquakes and earthquake
Property owners and managers should regularly inspect exposed sewer lines in
crawl spaces and basements, and notice and act upon indoor and outdoor
sewage smells and visible water damage.
Outdoors, sewage line leaks can be detected by noticing soggy spots outdoors
when it hasn’t rained, unusual bumps in the ground, and concrete slab cracks
or breaks in the basement floor and outdoor sidewalk and driveway.
One additional major cause of sewer line leaks is tree root
growth into the sewer line. As the roots search for water, they can slowly
squeezing into sewer pipes through the pipe joints. Over time, the roots can
grow and eventually crack the pipes.
When environmental hygienists and industrial hygienists do a careful
physical inspection of a home or workplace, they regularly look for and test
for (using a professional moisture meter) water leaks, water damage, and
mold growth---whether from water supply lines or sewage disposal lines.
Water leaks are one of the primary causes of toxic, health threatening
indoor mold growth.
For information on how to do mold inspections, visit the mold information
For free answers to mold and environmental hygiene questions, phone mold
expert Phillip Fry toll-free 1-866-300-1616, or Mr. Fry’s cell phone
1-480-310-7970, or email