Since wastewater contains some level of fecal matter, it will have bacteria that can be harmful to human health if ingested or absorbed through sustained contact. Risks can include gastrointestinal, diarrheal, and respiratory illnesses. The level of risk is dependent on many factors, including, but not limited to, the individual’s susceptibility to the bacteria, amount of ingestion or exposure, strength composition of the discharge (whether raw sewage or combined with a significant amount of ground or rainwater), length of time since SSO has ended, and the amount of clean-up that has occurred.
If you come in contact with wastewater discharging from the sanitary sewer system, it is recommended that you wash thoroughly with soap and/or an antibacterial agent as soon as practical. If you have swallowed or otherwise ingested some amount of discharged wastewater, it is recommended you contact your primary care physician for their guidance.