What can property owners do to prevent sewer backups?

Cooking oil should be poured into a heat-resistant container and disposed of in the garbage after it cools, not down the drain. Some people assume that washing grease down the drain with hot water is satisfactory. This grease goes down the drain, cools off, and solidifies either in the drain, the property owner's service, or in the sewer main. When this happens, the line eventually clogs.

Paper towels, disposable diapers, and feminine products cause many problems in the property owner's service as well as in the City main. These products do not deteriorate quickly. They become lodged in portions of the service and main, causing sewer backups. These products should be disposed of in the garbage.

Do not connect french drains, sump pumps, roof gutter drains, or foundation drains to your sanitary sewer service. It is illegal and will cause debris and silt to clog your service line. Consult a plumber to correct any illegal connections.

The continual flow of nutrient-filled water found in sewer pipes attracts tree roots. Roots growing along pipes exert significant pressure on pipes. These roots may push into and around gasket connection points which may expand and break seals. Root infiltration can cause a blockage to the service resulting in sewage backup in your home and damage to your property.

  1. The conventional method of removing roots by a professional drain cleaning service involves cutting or tearing of roots to solve an immediate problem or stoppage, but this method does not retard the growth or destroy the roots outside the pipe. This is similar to pruning the bushes and shrubs surrounding your residence.
  2. An annual chemical root control program is an effective preventive maintenance measure. A product that foams with the addition of water is the most effective means of coating the roots and pipe surfaces. These products may be purchased from your local hardware store or home center.

Show All Answers

1. How do I know if an employee is from your company?
2. How do I pay my water bill?
3. Why was my water shut off?
4. What do I do if my landlord stops making water payments?
5. Why is my bill estimated? Can I schedule an actual reading?
6. Are there penalties for late payments?
7. How can I receive a discount on my water bill?
8. Can I delay my water from being shut off due a medical condition?
9. How do I get my water turned on/off?
10. If I decide to sell my property, how do I get a final bill? What if I have tenant moving and want to give him or her a final bill?
11. Restoration of Service to a Vacant Property?
12. Where can I get additional water information?
13. Where do I call after hours for an emergency issue with my water?
14. What causes water to be discolored?
15. What should I do if my water is discolored?
16. Why fluoridate the water?
17. How does water fluoridation prevent tooth decay?
18. What is the cause and solution of rusty or strong-smelling water?
19. Why does my water smell like bleach / chlorine?
20. How can I protect my pipes in the winter?
21. What do I do if I experience low water pressure?
22. Who can I call to report illegal discharge to City sewers, streams or rivers?
23. Who should I call if I am experiencing a sewer backup?
24. What can property owners do to prevent sewer backups?
25. What can property owners do to prevent sewer odors?
26. Where can I find out about buried pipelines, gas lines, or power lines before I excavate or dig on my property?
27. What steps do I take to have a new meter installed?
28. How can I tell if my water meter is damaged?
29. How do I read my meter?
30. How does radio meter reading work?