Beware of sewage back-up,
The smell of spring is fast approaching, but pleasant as it may seem, homeowners must prepare for the thawing of mountains of snow left behind by one of our roughest winters.
Preventative measures should be taken to avoid sewage back-ups following rainstorms, floods and spring thaws. Large volumes of water from thawing and rainstorms entering our sewage systems can cause back-ups into basements and result in extensive damages to dwellings. Corroded sewer pipes, neglected plumbing systems, faulty drainage pipes, can cause sewage back-ups that can contaminate our drinking water.
A sewage back-up in the basement should be a cause for concern not the least of which are bacteria, viruses and other germs that can bring with them diseases also cause homes to be contaminated and made unfit for living.
The health risks around sewage are dependent on the amount and the type of germs in it, the length of time it has been in contact with materials in the home and occupants have been exposed to the bacteria. The more solids (human waste) that are present in the water, the greater the need for prompt and proper clean up.
Guidelines on sewage back up
– Consider waterproofing your dwelling’s foundation by sealing the cracks in floors and walls.
– Installation of a shut-off valve on the building sewer close to the area where the water enters the home, protecting it from sewage back-ups due to surcharge.
– Raise or remove sinks, toilets, washing machines, etc. in basements that may be vulnerable to overflows when the sewer system backs up.
– Ensure that the roof gutters, downspouts and sump pumps are not connected to the home’s sanitary sewer line. The aforementioned carry clean ground or rain water that can easily overload the capacity of your sanitary sewer pipe.
– Be sure that the gutter downspouts and drains are directed away from the foundation and toward low points away from the house.
– Cut down large trees and bushes near or over the sewer line before the roots plug the line.
– Avoid the use of carpet flooring in basements. Flooring such as tiles, ceramic, wood can be easily dried out, disinfected and saved.
– Have a sump pump installed to get rid of water from the lowest point of the basement.
– Keep furniture and valuables above flood levels where flooding may occur.
– In case of flooding, follow the water to its point-of-entry and seal cracks and defects to prevent water infiltration.
– Do not dispose of grease in your home’s drainage system; for example, cooking oil should be poured into a heat resistant container and disposed of properly after it cools off. It should not be poured down your drain or toilet. Pouring grease down the drain can have consequences; when the grease cools it will solidify either in the drain, the owner’s line, or in the main sewer causing the line to constrict and eventually clog.
– Disposal of paper products, cloth, diapers and feminine products can cause major problems for the property owner as well as the city; they do not deteriorate as quickly as bathroom tissue does.
– One way to prevent tree roots from entering your intake line is to replace your pipeline and tap with new plastic pipe. If roots continue to be a nuisance, cutting them periodically is strongly advised.
– Installing an anti-back-up valve is highly recommended to prevent sewage backup in the basement of your home. Once properly installed and maintained, the backwater valve allows sewage to be flushed out and not come back into your home.
Finally, consult a certified plumber pertaining to this matter. Yes, it will be an expense for installation but it cannot compare with the thousands of dollars you may have to spend in the event of a flooded basement.
REMEMBER, ONE OUNCE OF PREVENTION is better than a WHOLE POUND OF CURE! I AM YOUR REALTOR AT (514-947-8240).