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Prevent Sewer Backups

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What Causes a Sewer Back-up?

Anything, which should not be in a sewer line, has the potential of causing a blockage. For example:

  • Kitchen grease, disposable diapers, paper & cloth towels, sanitary napkins and even dental floss can accumulate and cause a blockage. 
  • Tree roots seeking moisture can grow through cracks in the lines, causing a blockage. 
  • Vandals have stopped up lines by putting bricks, wood, oil filters, bed springs, and even Christmas trees in manholes. 
  • Illegal hookups allow excess water into the lines. Outside stairwell drains, sump pumps, roof and drain gutters should never be connected to the sewer system.  A sewer system is designed to carry a predetermined amount of sewage.  Rain water not only overloads the system, but also raises the cost of the treatment process. 

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What Can I Do to Prevent Back-ups?

To protect your property follow these simple tips.

  • DON’T put diapers, sanitary napkins or anything else in the toilet – even if it says “Flushable!” Only flush what you’ve eaten first and toilet paper.
  • DON’T dispose of grease down the drain.
  • DON’T plant trees near sewer lines 
  • DON’T connect any drains or sump pumps to the sewer system.    

And, just in case...

  • Locate and keep accessible the sewer cleanout in your front yard. If you do not have a cleanout, have one installed by a plumber. The cleanout is the property owner’s responsibility 
  • Check your homeowner’s insurance policy. If you are not covered for back-ups, call your agent for information on costs and coverage options 
  • If you experience a back-up, save all receipts related to any repair, cleaning, or damages