What are the real health risks of blocked drains.

Whether in your bathroom, or your kitchen, a blocked drain is much more than a mere nuisance. It’s a real danger to the hygiene and health of everybody in the household and a problem that should be solved as soon as possible. Here are some of the main causes of blocked drains, the health risks and different harmful substances and bacteria they could expose you and your family to.

What causes blocked drains?

A household is a busy place, where each member has their own schedule and way of doing things. And when you have a family of three, four or more people, it’s only normal that some food and drink waste ends up deposited inside the drain of the kitchen sink, while hair, toothpaste and soap sludge, as well as  dirt find their way into the bathtub, shower or basin drain and plughole in the bathroom. Once these things get into the drains or the plugholes, they stick to each other and form a biofilm. Biofilms are fine layers of bacteria, fungus and other microorganisms, usually found in moist surfaces, from which they spread further. Unfortunately, private homes aren’t the only places where this problem can occur. For instance, public places such as hospitals deal with these issues on a regular basis, too. This can be even more dangerous, since the bacteria from the clogged drains can lead to more severe health issues in already ill people. Plus, they can cause a disease outburst in places with a lot of people coming in and out, and some of them with a previously weakened immune system.  

What are the health risks of blocked drains?

There is a whole list of diseases blocked drains can cause. Here are some of the most common ones.


Campylobacter is a type of bacteria which can be developed inside a clogged drain and it’s the cause of Campylobacteriosis. This is an infectious disease with symptoms ranging from nausea and abdominal cramps to fever, diarrhea and fatigue. The usual way of contracting Campylobacteriosis is by being in touch with animal or human waste that’s been infected with campylobacter, or drinking water that’s been contaminated with it. It’s essential to be aware of the problems this disease can lead to and the importance of good plumbing maintenance for your health. Australians mostly are, which is why they call a reliable Perth plumber to fix their drain issues as soon as they notice something is wrong. A fully functioning plumbing system with effective sewage disposal and clean water supplies is a good way to keep this and other similar diseases at bay.



This is another disease which can be caused by improper sewage disposal systems, and the worst thing about it is that the youngest members of the family are usually the ones who are most susceptible to it. The symptoms range from skin rashes across your chest and your stomach, but also constipation, sore throat and headaches of various severity. This is why it’s important to react as soon as you notice waste water accumulating, and either remove the physical blockage causing it, or call an expert with adequate tools to do it for you.

Peptic ulcer disease

The most commonly found bacteria inside sewage systems and drains is Helicobacter pylori, which is the main cause of peptic ulcers. These are open sores which develop on the inside lining of the stomach or the small intestine.

Although the most frequent symptom of this condition is burning stomach pain, you could also have breathing difficulties, bloody stool, bloating, heartburn or dizziness. In some cases, patients even reported weight loss, nausea and vomiting blood. However, this disease can sometimes go unnoticed for a long time, since only about a quarter of people who get peptic ulcers experience any symptoms at all.

Peptic ulcer disease

If water flowing too slowly into your sink, basin or bathtub drain doesn’t annoy you enough to get the problem fixed, then fear of these health risks definitely should. If it’s a small clog, perhaps you can remove it on your own, but if you can’t, don’t wait too long before you call an expert to do it.

About the author

Diana Smith

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