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.
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