Sewage fumes are something that you DO NOT want permeating your home or your lungs. Sewage gases are a toxic concoction of gases such as ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, methane and carbon dioxide. They smell horrible and they are horrible to inhale. Very high levels of carbin dioxide and methane can actually displace oxygen. They can be extremely harmful to the human body.


Hydrogen sulfide and ammonia have a smell that lets you know they are there, but methane and carbon dioxide unfortunately, do not. The latter actually replace the oxygen levels in the air around raw sewage and produce normal nitrogen levels. This can lead to tissue damage and asphyxiation in human beings.


  • There are industrial and consumer products, such as “solvents, flame retardants, pesticides, cleaning products and volatile organic compounds,” can end up in sewage and cause these toxic gases to form. Even bleach can irritate your respiratory function, when found in raw sewage. “…[A]lkylbenzene sulfonate, alcohol ethoxylate and alcohol ether sulfate”, which are all common chemicals found in industries that deal with cosmetics and detergents, can end up in raw sewage and cause irritation of mucous membranes, once they become airborne.


  • There is also the risk of harm due to airborne biological contaminants. “Agitation of raw sewage can cause volatilization [which is a gaseous release of a substance into the atmosphere] of biological contaminants in sewage, although this type of microbial suspension is short-lived.” It can cause vicious side effects such as:


  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Allergic reactions and lung infections
  • Viral symptoms



Other symptoms that persons who are in daily contact with raw sewage may experience include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, eye irritation and shortness of breath.


That’s why we suggest that you let your professional plumbers handle your sewage problems. Don’t put yourself at risk. Contact the professionals if you need help with this kind of plumbing problem or more. We’ve got experienced and affordable plumbers in Ottawa. With just one call, we can help you solve your plumbing needs and offer you emergency plumbing services!