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Sewage Backup

All About the Causes, Prevention, and Cleaning of Sewage Backup

Because of the smell, a sewage backup is definitely horrible and nauseating. However, it is absolutely necessary to get rid of such a situation and make provisions so that it never occurs again. This article provides more information about the possible causes and prevention of a sewage backup.
Scholasticus K
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Sanitation and hygiene are often considered to be the basic necessities of man. The backup of sewage is definitely unhygienic and a red alert must be declared in order to clear it out. Apart from the intolerable stench, there are several health risks associated with a clogged sewer as it contaminates your home and micro-organisms will infest it.

Causes and Prevention

A backup can be simply defined as the reverse flow of the sewer from your drains. The plumbing lines that lead out of your home are connected to a network of underground pipelines. These underground pipelines are known as community pipelines or municipal pipelines, and they carry away all the raw waste from your home to the waste water treatment plant. This pipeline network indirectly keeps your entire neighborhood clean. Thus, a probable cause behind such clogging and backup is the breakdown of a community drainage system. This drainage system may get clogged due to a variety of agents, such as the breakage of entire pipelines, clogging by debris, and even blockage by tree roots. But you need not worry about such problems because your local governing body often takes care of them before any mishap can occur.

The second probable cause is the blockage of lateral pipelines that connect the pipelines of your house to the main community sewer network. These pipelines often get clogged with organic matter or debris. To prevent such clogging, one must abstain from dumping solid matter down the sinks and drains. In addition to that, pouring down anti-clogging chemicals into the pipelines at least once a month works very well. Engineers often construct a large chamber on this line before it joins the main sewer pipeline, in order to minimize the effect of a backup. Keeping this chamber clean and free from garbage is also necessary to prevent a backup.

The third possible cause is clogging of pipelines within the house. Backup of sewage in the basement is commonly caused due to such clogging. The best way to prevent clogging is to avoid dumping garbage into the drains of the house. Another simple way to prevent inflow of debris is to place a set of good metallic meshes over the drains.

Cleaning the Backup

Getting rid of a backup can be a disgusting job. Hence, it is advised that you call a plumber. After you witness a backup, your first step should be closing down all forms of running water such as showers, sink, taps, etc., as flowing water will only make the problem worse. Next, open all windows and doors and turn on the fans.

Go out and get yourself a set of good surgical gloves, boots, and masks. This will protect you from any hazardous contamination by microbes. Next, check the lateral pipelines and their chambers. There is a strong probability that these might be clogged, and you will have to remove the obstructions with the help of a shovel. If the internal systems within the house are clogged, then you will have to wait for the plumber. A good alternative solution is to keep on adding small quantities of anti-clogging solutions to the drains. The anti-clogging agents will give momentum to the matter within the drainage system.

The last step is to start sanitizing your home. For this you will need to use mops and a lot of tissue paper. You will also need a few liters of disinfectants. In addition to that, you will also need to dispose some things that have been damaged and cannot be repaired.

There are also some agencies and companies that provide clean up and plumbing services for such occurrences. Such agencies can also locate the problem that has caused the backup and find permanent solutions for it. The only way to minimize the probability of a backup is to keep the drains free from debris and occasionally use an anti-clogging solution.