According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a safe sanitation system is designed to avoid and prevent human contact with human waste.
From the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “Contamination of a private well can impact not only the household served by the well, but also nearby households using the same aquifer.”
“Wastewater management and adequate sewer systems play important roles in sanitation and disease prevention. Wastewater can contaminate the local environment and drinking water supply, thereby increasing the risk of disease transmission.”
Improperly used or operated septic systems can be a significant source of ground water contamination that can lead to waterborne disease outbreaks and other adverse health effects.
The presence of contaminants in water can lead to health issues including gastrointestinal illness resulting from campylobacter, cryptosporidium, E. coli, giardia, hepatitis A, norovirus, salmonella and shigella. Cardiac and respiratory problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath, myocarditis and pericarditis can also occur. Other symptoms that can occur are weight loss, joint pain and other allergic conditions.