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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Why you shouldn’t tamper with your septic tank

    Septic tanks should be regularly checked and maintained only by qualified personnel equipped with self-contained breathing apparatus and other necessary safety gear. You really shouldn’t tamper with your septic tank at all.

    Why you shouldn’t tamper with your septic tank

    There are many reasons why you shouldn’t tamper with your septic tank yourself. We take a look at some of the more common reasons, and delve a little deeper.

    Exposure to diseases

    Septic tanks expose you to the risk of contracting a variety of viral or bacterial infections including:

    • Acute gastrointestinal illness, diarrhoea and dysentery
    • Typhoid fever, ear and eye infections
    • Gastroenteritis, hepatitis A and melioidosis
    • Salmonellosis, shigellosis and trachoma

    There is also a risk of parasite-related diseases including giardiasis and strongyloidasis, dwarf tapeworm, threadworm and hookworm infections.

    Dangerous gases

    Another reason why you shouldn’t tamper with your septic tank is the presence of methane and hydrogen sulphide. Highly volatile, these gases can cause explosions if you accidentally cause a spark. Inhaling them can also cause you to lose consciousness and get injured by falling into the tank.

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    In addition to significantly increasing your risk of contracting any one of the diseases mentioned above, lying unconscious in a septic tank could also result in death by asphyxiation. Poor ventilation could also result in sufficiently high levels of methane building up to kill you within seconds by just leaning over a tank.

    Falls and collapse

    Rusty metal or rotten wood covers can all too easily cause you to fall into a septic tank, as could simple slips, trips and falls near tanks. The consequences of a slip, trip or fall near and into a septic tank could be fatal.

    Hydrogen sulphide can also convert into sulphuric acid when in contact with wet surfaces, which could corrode even concrete covers sufficiently to cause them to give way if weight is put onto them. Unstable ground or tank conditions could also cause a complete collapse, in which case you could end up being buried.

    Electrical and other hazards

    Digging near septic tanks could also result in accidentally cutting through electrical wires, which could cause potentially fatal injuries by electrocution. Then, of course, there is the risk of cutting through water or gas mains.


    Finally, you shouldn’t tamper with your septic tank because you could make mistakes that may cause explosions or leaks. Leaking septic tanks could cause all kinds of health and environmental problems.

    Other people’s septic tanks

    If you suffered an injury in a septic tank accident caused by someone else, you may be able to claim for compensation. Call our Accident Advice Helpline freephone number 0800 689 0500, or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile, for more detailed information on making public liability claims.

    Date Published: October 5, 2016

    Author: Accident Advice

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.