Water from sewer system backup is extremely dangerous. The water is unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that can potentially cause serious illness. Specialized training and equipment is necessary to properly and safely perform sewage backup remediation and clean this type of contamination. When floodwater contains contaminants and viruses that present serious risks of illness, it is considered black water. Sewage is a form of black water, so when facing a sewage back up addressing it on a timely manner is very important. However, knowing what causes sewage backups can help you prevent it from happening in your home.
Sewage Backup Causes
Sewage can back up into your home when either your home’s drain pipes or main sewer line become clogged. For example, if one toilet creates a sewage backup, the drain connected to that toilet will most likely be clog up. If all toilets or bathtubs in your home create back flows, then there may be a clog in the main sewer line. Some of the most common causes of clogging and sewage backups consist of hair, grease, or other solid materials that end up in the drains.
Trees can grow really long roots that intertwine with your sewer line. Roots can grow into a pipe and cause holes or crush the sewer line by growing around it. Even if the roots in your yard are not the problem, roots from nearby trees can reach your sewer line and damage it.
Damaged Sewer Lines
Before the strong sewage lines and piping that we have today, pipes were made of cast iron and clay piping which usually don’t last very long. Aging sewage systems can begin to break down and crack, causing sewage backups and flooded basements. Plastic sewer lines have now become the norm.
A large amount of rain can cause an over flow in your city’s sewer lines. If the city sewer can’t handle excess rainfall, the water can make its way into connected sewer lines.
How to Prevent Sewage Backup
- DO NOT pour grease down the drain. Cooking oil can harden within your pipes; it can eventually stop debris from draining, creating a clog. To properly dispose of grease or fat, pour it into a heat-resistant container and dispose of it in the trash after it cools off.
- Dispose of paper products properly. Disposing of paper hygiene products such as paper towels, diapers, or feminine products down the toilet can easily clog your sewer line. To prevent any damage simply discard paper products in the trash.
- Install a plastic piping or cut tree roots. To prevent tree roots from damaging your sewer lateral, replace it with a new plastic pipe. If tree roots still grow in your sewer lateral, cut the roots occasionally.
- Install a backwater prevention valve. A backwater prevention valve allows sewage to flow out but prevents it from backing up into your home. Backwater valves are typically installed into a sewer line and sometimes into a drain line in the basement.
A sewer backup can be one of the most dreaded things to happen to a home or property owner. A sewer problem can become an absolute nightmare. As one of the most utilized parts of your home, a simple plumbing problem could mean major issues. Unfortunately, many property owners don’t realize an issue until it’s too late. This only emphasizes the importance of taking the necessary precautions and preventative measures with your sewer line. Practice our plumbing and sewage safety prevention to avoid any issues with your sewage lines and to prevent any water damage in your home.