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Signs of a Sewer Backup

Homeowners don’t realize that the city isn’t responsible for the maintenance and repair of the pipeline. Which is between the sanitary sewer main and their house. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner and homeowners. Who will need to deal with any problems that arise from it, including a sewer backup.

What Causes Sewer Backups?

Some of the most common causes of sewer backups include:

  • Ageing sewer systems – With vulnerability to sudden, extreme weather conditions, it’s no secret that our sewer systems need updating. The increase in new homes connected to these systems has contributed to increases in sanitary sewer backups and floods.
  • Combined pipelines –  In systems where stormwater and raw sewage are connected to the same pipeline, these systems are more at risk to a volume overflow. This leads to sewage backups that spew out sewage back into basements and other low lying drains.
  • Tree roots – Small roots of trees or neighbouring plants dig their way into sewer line cracks and service pipe joints, causing significant damage or blockages as they grow in size.
  • Sanitary main blockages – A blockage in the city sanitary main can occur, backing up sewage into homes and businesses through floor drains. If water is entering your basement at a fast rate, report the problem to authorities immediately.

What Are The Signs?

When the sewers are clogged, the lowest drains and fixtures are usually the first ones to experience problems. Here are some of the signs to look out for:

  • A foul stench from the drains – If you’ve turned on a faucet in the bathroom. Then you notice a horrid smell coming from the drain. It is an indication that something is wrong. Drains should not smell.
  • Numerous clogged drains – A single drain clog from excess hair or toilet paper being flushed is a common problem and can be easily fixed. But if you see numerous drains being clogged at the same time, this could be a bigger problem than a clogged toilet.
  • Bubbles – When water tries to get past a clog, it will bubble as it comes back to the surface. If you notice this happening several times, this could mean there’s a problem in your pipes.
  • Turning on a faucet causes a backup elsewhere – If you are running a faucet that is connected to a shower or another appliance in a different room. Then water starts backing up in that appliance, this could be a problem.
  • Slow flushing toilets – If your fast flushing toilet seems to be moving slowly, this is another warning sign to a sewer line issue. Normal plunging will not improve the flow of water.

How to Prevent Backups

  • Proper disposal of grease – Cooking oil should be poured into a heat-resistant container and disposed of properly (aka, not in the drain). When the grease cools off, it can solidify in the pipes, causing the line to constrict and clog.
  • Proper disposal of paper products – Paper towels, disposable diapers, hygienic wipes and feminine products do not deteriorate fast enough, causing clogs in the lateral and the city’s mainline.
  • Cut tree roots – If plant roots are a frequent issue, a professional may need to cut your roots regularly.
  • Switch to plastic pipes – These prevent tree roots from entering your line.
  • Install a backwater prevention valve – When properly installed and maintained, this allows sewage to go out of your house, but not come back in.

What To Do When You Have A Sewer Backup

Stay away from your home if you have a possible sewer backup. The water could possibly contain harmful bacteria that leads to disease, damage and electrical malfunction. Immediately call for a cleanup of your property and call professionals to fix your sewage line. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!

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