Understanding The Dangers Of Working As A Sewage Diver

Posted on: 19 October 2015


If you are in charge of managing or running a large business or housing complex, then you may know that you need to hire a special professional to take care of sewage and septic issues. If there is a serious issue with a main sewer line or a serious crack in an industrial sized septic tank, then a diving professional may need to be dispatched. This professional is a HAZMAT certified diving specialist who will physically enter the septic tank or sewer to make the necessary repairs. Hiring this type of professional will be quite expensive. You should understand that this price is well worth it due to the risks that the diver is subjected to. Keep reading to better understand these risks.

Direct Contact With Sewage Wastes

The safe disposal of fecal wastes that are produced by humans are contained carefully with the help of septic tanks and town sewage lines. The containment occurs for a very specific reason. Individuals who come into contact with fecal wastes are likely to become quite ill and possibly die. Feces can pass such diseases such as hepatitis A, cholera, rotavirus, dysentery, typhoid fever, cryptosporidiosis, and a wide variety of other diseases if the infected feces come into contact with the mouth in any way. The bacteria in feces can also cause fairly serious illnesses, like E. coli. This type of bacteria in the digestive tract and fecal matter can cause vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

While this sewage and the diseases they carry are contained, a diving specialist will come into direct contact with them. This hazard is a great one, and the diver will have to wear a special suit to protect himself. This drysuit will have boots and gloves directly attached to it, and a special helmet will secure to the suit with a tight seal. Generally, the suit will be made out of rubber or neoprene to offer full protection.

Puncture Hazards

Many people are informed by professional plumbers and septic experts to only flush fecal wastes down a toilet. However, some people do not heed this advice, and garbage is flushed away. In some cases, individuals think that the syringes, pieces of glass, and other sharp objects can be handled by the sewage system. Other types of debris are rinsed down the drains that sit on the sides of the roads. When these items enter the waste system, they sink. The diver can then come into contact with the objects. This is especially true, since the diver will be used to low light situations where they will need to feel around to locate cracks, clogs, or rusted spots in the septic tank that need to be repaired. 

A cut from a sharp object can cause a serious staph, MRSA, or tetanus infection. HIV transmission will be a concern too. Thankfully, divers will often wear coveralls, extra gloves, and boots over their protective suits as an added layer of protection. Harder and thicker materials made from PVC and nylon are commonly utilized for this.