Water management is a system of keeping unwanted water from invading your home by directing it away from the home. On the home, it’s the roof, flashing, gutters, downspouts, windows and doors that keep water outside. In your yard, it’s about drainage and landscaping to prevent standing water and erosion problems.

The final link in the water management chain is public sewer lines which carry away all the excess water from your home and yard. A sewer backup is a stressful and smelly situation that can cause property damage, so preventing it is the first line of defense, but knowing what to do if it happens is also important.

Don’t Put It Down the Drain

Items that aren’t waste water or biodegradable (like toilet tissue) can become lodged in the lateral line (the underground pipe that connects your home to the main sewer line), creating a dam which forces the waste water back into your home. The following items should never go down any plumbing drain in your home:

• Cooking oil or grease

• Paper towels

• Disposable diapers

• Feminine products

• Swiffer rags

• Cigarette butts

Install a Backwater Prevention Valve

A backwater valve can prevent or greatly reduce the possibility of sewer backup. This fixture is installed in your basement drain that leads out to the lateral line. It works as a one-way system: sewage can go out but cannot come back in. A homeowner is responsible for the installation and maintenance and be sure a qualified plumber installs the right one for your needs.

What To Do About a Sewer Backup

If the sewer backs up into your basement or yard, your first call should be to your local sewer district. They will inspect the public sewer line, and if it’s blocked they will fix it. If it’s inside your home, they will instruct you to contact a plumber. It’s important to call the sewer district first so you are spending money wisely on the proper solution by the correct specialist.

Most homeowner’s policies do not pay for sewer backups unless a special sewer backup rider is purchased, so consider contacting your insurance agent to obtain more information about this extra level of protection.

For help with sewer backup prevention or correcting the damage caused by such, work with the water management experts at Mosby Building Arts. They will help you strengthen all the systems in your home needed to keep you dry and give you peace of mind. or contact them here.

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