Floods are the most common cause of serious water damage to houses and properties. However, they are also capable of causing sewage to back up into homes through drain pipes. This occurrence does not just result in the destruction of the house drainage system, properties, but it could also lead to a major health crisis. The majority of property and business owner insurance packages does not include sewer backup unless it’s specifically included in the policy. However, including sewer backup in your insurance policy should not attract more than around fifty dollars on the yearly insurance policy. Property and business owners should be aware that they own the pipeline that passes into their building, and any part of the drainage pipes that extend into the street. They are also meant to repair the pipes and ensure they are in good shape. The would bear the cost of repair and replacement should the pipes or any part of the drainage system get managed. If you are experiencing plumbing problems such as sewer backup, call a professional plumber and save yourself lots of problems.

What Are the Causes Of Sewer Backup?

  1. Obstruction of the sewer pipes by tree roots: Some big trees and plant have a kind of root that grows deep down and spread out into the ground, to get some water, and other nutrients. The growth of the roots of this kind of plants and trees is not immediate. It takes a number of years for this to happen. These trees might just be little plants when the drainage system of the area was done but grew up later to have huge and deep roots. These roots are capable of entering the pipes and break into the pipes, leading to obstruction. This kind of occurrence can lead to a lot of damage. In this case, experts are called upon to determine the extent of the obstruction, and how much it would cost to make amends. If the tree or plant is city-owned, then the city would be responsible for the damages, however, if the tree or plant is privately owned, then the individual would have to finance the repairs. There have been cases where drainage systems were damaged by both city and private trees. In this scenario, they’d both be responsible for whatever replacement and repair needed.
  2. Blockage in the sanitary main: There could be an obstruction in the sanitary main. This could lead to the back up of sewage from the main into houses and properties. However, this is usually a gradual process, and the property owner has enough time to call a professional plumber to help rectify the problem. However, it’s best to call the public works department of the city if water is flooding your basement as soon as possible, to avert dangerous consequences.
  3. Flooded basement: The majority of basement flood is most times not related to the sewer system. An example of how this could lead to sewer backup is when a heap of soil accumulates opposite a building, followed by a heavy downpour. The water flow would be directed towards the building, and they’d be forced to sip into the basement. This is more predominant in old buildings that have cracks around the foundation. The cracks increase the likelihood of water flooding the basement. This occurs mostly when the soil surrounding the building is already saturated with water. Property owners can prevent this kind of occurrence by ensuring that water drains away from the building, and also by water-sealing the basement.
  4. Property and business owners’ insurance does not include sewer backup damages: Most property insurances do not cover sewer backup, however, it could be included in America for a cost of about 50$. However, federal flood insurance policies can be procured from Insurance companies.
  5. Structural defects: The older the house, the more prone the house is to have a sewer backup. As an illustration, houses built more than a decade or twenty years, have sewer system made up of clays and iron. These materials tend to degenerate over time, increasing the risk of damages. However, modern buildings usually make use of plastic material and its derivatives for the manufacture of the sewer system. The plastic material is more durable but more expensive than the clay and iron materials used in the past. Replacing these clay and iron pipes usually cost a lot of money. It’s therefore important to know the kind of sewer system in the house before you purchase properties.

Sewer Backup in House Poses Health Risks

Sewer backup is basically the content of the sewage system, flowing back into the house. The sewage consists of human and animals waste that have been exposed to micro-organisms. This kind of materials is capable of leading to diseases, and even death if not well managed. Cases of this nature have killed millions in the past before antibiotics were discovered. Below are some of the health risks associated with sewer backup

  1. Escherichia Coli: This is bacteria, also known as E. Coli is usually present in meat that it isn’t well cooked, in untreated water etc. There are many forms of this bacteria, and they are capable of causing severe diseases such as diarrhea, anemia (due to bleeding associated with diarrhea), liver and renal problems.
  2. Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Although these bacteria are not lethal to those with a strong immune system, it can cause a lot of damages in individuals with a weak immune system. This could be persons on a long-term corticosteroid treatment or those who have a weakened immune system due to diseases such as HIV/ AIDS. These bacteria can lead to eye diseases, skin problems, pneumonia and so on.

 How to Stay Safe When Dealing with Sewer Backup

Experiencing a sewer backup is one of the most unpleasant events that one could possibly go through. It’s usually associated with the loss of properties and exposure to serious health hazards. However, there are professionals, whose sole job is to take care of this kind of event. Below are the things to do when there is a sewer backup;

  1. Call a professional, such as plumber
  2. Inform your landlord, if you’re renting the house.
  3. Endeavor to lock all water outlets when you notice the sewer backup
  4. Stay away from the sewer backup materials. Inhaling them is enough to do damage to the body.
  5. You will need commercial sewer drain cleaning plumbing services to safely address and fix your problem.


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Griffith, B. (2015). Water and Sewer Service in Rural Alaska: the Alaska Water/Sewer Challenge. International Journal of Epidemiology, 44(suppl_1), pp.i42-i42.

Sewer processes: microbial and chemical process engineering of sewer networks. (2002). Choice Reviews Online, 39(10), pp.39-5832-39-5832.