A sewer backup can be one of the messiest and costliest things to happen in your home. The damage can go up into the thousands and ruin your flooring, furniture and personal belongings. There is also the risk of you and your family becoming sick if there is contact with contaminated raw sewage. You can prevent this from happening to your by learning more about what can cause a sewer to backup.
What is a Sewer Backup?
A sewer backup happens when a sewer line is blocked, disrupting the regular flow of wastewater from your home’s plumbing system to the city’s sewer. This blockage causes sewage to come up through your home’s plumbing fixtures and drains. It leaves behind a foul-smelling mess which must be dealt with promptly as exposure can lead to serious illness.
What are the Causes?
A sewer backup can happen for many reasons, with some being out of your control. Backups can be the result of heavy rain or flooding from a big storm. Too much rainfall over a period of time can quickly overwhelm city pipelines causing a backup in the line. Other reasons for a sewer backup may include:
- Roots from nearby trees that have entered the sewer lines
- Older city sewer systems and homes with aging pipes in need of repair
- Damaged or deteriorated sewer lateral lines
- Failed sump pump
- Broken or warped sewer lines
- Grease or another clogging agent can typically cause a blocked line
A blockage in your city’s sanitary main can also be the source of a sewer backup. The location of your home or business may also play a factor into a higher risk of sewer backup. If the foundation sits lower than the nearest upstream manhole, then you may be more susceptible.
Ways to Prevent a Backup
While you may not have much control over the weather or the sewer lines that have deteriorated due to age, you can take preventative measures. One way is to have a licensed plumber to inspect your sewer line and install a device that may help prevent a backup. This can be items such as a grinder pump, a sewer popper or a check-valve. Other ways to prevent a backup include:
- Dispose of household waste properly
- Trim tree roots and inspect them regularly
- Do not pour cooking oil or other foreign liquids down drains
Knowing the signs of a sewer backup may help prevent extensive damage from happening to your home. If you have concerns about the sewer system near your home, then contact us at the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System.
The Mobile Area Water and Sewer System (MAWSS) has been serving the residents and businesses in the Mobile area for over 50 years.