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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Sewage Backups

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

There are plenty of things that can happen to a structure that you hope never will, such as fires or floods. However, few things that can happen to a building are as stomach turning as sewage backups. That said, let’s take a look at what causes this nasty type of damage and what you can do to help yourself avoid it.

What is a sewage backup?

  • “A backup occurs when sewage overflows from your tub, toilet, sink or any drain in your home.  Backups are more common in older homes and homes with basements.”


  • Aging sewer systems
    • Aging systems are becoming a more common issue with some sewage systems being 30+ years old. These systems can have blockages or pipe corrosion issues.
  • Combined pipelines
    • Combined pipelines become an issue during storms when natural/flood water begins to overfill the space shared with raw sewage pipelines. Overflow can come into a structure through.
  • Tree roots
    • When tree roots reach for moisture, it’s not unheard of for them to try and find it in sewer line cracks and service pipe joints
  • Sanitary main blockages
    • Occurring in a city sanitary main, if this type of blockage is not detected in time, sewage from the main can back up into homes and businesses through floor drains.

How to prevent backups

  • Dispose of Grease Properly
    • Grease can clog drains, property owner's line, or the main sewer by causing the line to constrict. Dump grease in heat safe, sealable containers.
  • Dispose of Paper Products Properly
    • Paper towels, disposable (and cloth) diapers, and feminine products don’t dissolve properly and can stop up the plumbing. You should only flush appropriate paper products.
  • Replace your line with new plastic pipe
    • This could help to keep tree roots from sneaking their way into underground pipes.
  • Illegal Plumbing Connections
    • Do not connect French drains, sump pumps, and other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer. It is illegal, and debris and silt will clog your line. Consult a plumber to correct any illegal connections.
  • Install a Backwater Prevention Valve
    • This fixture is installed into a sewer line, and sometimes into a drain line, in the basement of your home or business to prevent sewer backflows. A properly installed and maintained backwater valve allows sewage to go out, but not to come back in.

Keeping this information in mind, if you happen to find yourself dealing with damage from a sewer backup contact your local SERVPRO® to help with the cleanup and restoration of your home or business.




SERVPRO® of North Central Tazewell County | 309-346-5600

SERVPRO® of Peoria | 309-637-7300

SERVPRO® of Galesburg and Macomb | 309-342-0073

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