If your home uses a septic system to dispose of your household wastewater, you may have noticed that your drains are slowing down and producing an odor that is leaking up through your drains. If so, your septic tank may be full and overflowing, putting you and members of your household at risk for health hazards caused by the foul-smelling, toxic fumes.

Fumes Contain Harmful Gases

When your septic tank starts overflowing, one of the first things you may notice is an awful odor coming up into your main sewer line and through your drains. However, the sickening smell of decomposing human waste and gray water from your house is not the only problem with these fumes.

As a byproduct of decomposing waste materials, methane gas is produced. When the gas builds up in a confined area, such as inside your house, the asphyxiant can deplete your home's oxygen and cause symptoms in your household members, from dizziness to fainting.

Gas from Your Septic Tank Can Carry Bacteria

The fumes not only deplete the oxygen in your home, but they can also spread harmful bacteria in your air. When your septic tank's contents are at a normal level, the good bacteria responsible for breaking down the waste material also keeps the harmful, disease-causing bacteria at bay.

However, when the tank is overflowing, the bad bacteria that cause dysentery and other diseases start to thrive. As the harmful germs grow, the good bacteria cannot keep up with the ever-growing population.

Since some of these bacteria can break off and become airborne, they could then enter your home through your drains and spread throughout your house. When this occurs, two things can happen.

First, you or your family members could breathe in the airborne bacteria, which could cause a serious respiratory infection. This is especially true if anyone living in your home is very young, elderly, or has a compromised immune system, such as that caused by chemotherapy.

Second, the bacteria that is not inhaled can settle on the surfaces of your home, as well as on the food you eat. Then, when ingested, the germs could cause gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

If you have not had your septic tank pumped out for a while and it's starting to emit fumes, you are at risk for the above health hazards. Contact a septic contractor that provides septic tank pumping services to have them inspect and pump out your tank to help keep you and your family healthy. Look at this website for more.