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5 Simple Tips to Prevent Sewer Backups from Happening

Water draining into a sewer manhole after rain on the city street

One of the most serious problems people could possibly face is sewage backups in their area. That’s because this can cause serious health problems and untold damage to a home’s structural integrity. Due to the danger it poses, sewage backup must be dealt with immediately.

When it happens, it’s best to call a professional sewage cleaning service company. Also, take preventative measures to lower the chance of your sewage backing up again once the restoration work is complete. 

Sanitary Plumbing Installer
Sanitary Plumbing Installer

What is Sewage Backup?

Sewage backup happens when your house’s wastewater isn’t draining properly due to obstructions or damage in the drainage system. The cause is commonly found in the main sewer line that connects your house to the municipal sewers. If this problem is not resolved immediately, the wastewater will continue to clog your drain pipes and the sewer lines, consequently creating a backup.

Common Causes of Sewage Backup

It is important to understand the causes of sewage backup before you can reap the many benefits of sewage water cleanup. A good start would be to identify how the backup happened so you can work on preventing it from happening again. Below are the most common causes of sewage backup in the home:

  1. Root Infiltration

When neighborhood trees grow, their roots dig deep for moisture and, most often than not, these will cut through the pipes. When this happens, leakage and blockage are imminent. 

  1. Pipe Blockage

As with the case above, whenever there is a big blockage in the pipes, this will prevent the proper flow of water and may result in sewage backup.

  1. Leak Damage

When there is a leakage in one of your plumbing fixtures or even in the main sewer line, expect to see gray-colored water in your faucets.

  1. Flooding

Intense flooding may overwhelm the main sewer line and this could lead to sewage backup. In case of flooding, contact the city planning office immediately.

  1. Incorrect Plumbing Repairs

This is the downside of DIY plumbing. If a novice tries to fix the plumbing system, he may not be totally knowledgeable on the right pipe or fixture size or dimension. 

  1. Structural Defects

Structural defects in a building or property can and will affect how well the plumbing system works. 

Types of Contaminated Sewage Water

When sewage backups occur, there are three possible types of contamination that can happen in the water. These types of contamination are divided into Categories 1, 2, and 3. Here are the details:

Category 1 – Clean Water

This is considered as the least severe in the water contamination scale, and is seen in water damage caused by a broken pipe or an overflowed bathtub.  Water in this case refers to that which remains toxin and sewage waste-free, but should not be taken lightly because of its damaged source. 

Category 2 – Gray Water

This is also known as washing machine, toilet, and dishwasher water. It’s water that has been used previously; thus, it can contain bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants. If gray water is not treated or removed immediately, it can get worse.

Category 3 – Black Water

This is the most polluted type of contaminated water. It often contains harmful substances that can cause serious illnesses. Therefore, it is best to avoid close contact with it. 


Black water is usually found in toilets, floods, stagnant waters with microbial growth, and other similar sources. This is sometimes sewage water filled with bacteria, viruses, and other harmful chemicals. 

Sewage Backup Prevention

There are many reasons sewage backups occur. However, being aware of several preventive measures can minimize the likelihood of a backup happening. These include the following:

  1. Proper Grease Disposal

Clogging can be caused by putting cooking oil, grease, or other similar ingredients down the drains. Grease, in particular, is not meant to be carried down your pipes; it’s better to dispose of it in the trash can than in the kitchen sink.

  1. Drain Traps Installation

Because they are not easy to break down, solid objects can cause blockages and damage to your drain pipes. A solution would be to install drain traps that will catch these solid materials and keep them from going down your drains.

  1. Proper Toilet Waste Disposal

To prevent sewage backup, you should avoid flushing feminine products, diapers, and other chemicals down the toilet. These products do not dissolve easily unlike toilet paper and can eventually cause serious problems.

  1. Drain Cleaning

Regular drain cleaning can help prevent sewage backup. Flushing the drains with baking soda, followed by one cup of vinegar, and then finishing it off with warm water is something that you can include in your monthly cleaning chores.

  1. Plumbing System Inspection

Consult professional plumbers so they can help you understand and implement basic inspection processes for your plumbing systems. This should enable you to fix minor plumbing problems that may lead to sewage backups in the future.\

Key Takeaway

A sewage backup does not occur regularly, but if it happens in your area, it means that there is something wrong with your plumbing system. After the disaster, learn about the preventive measures that you can apply at home so another backup can be kept at bay. 

There are also a variety of factors that lead to a sewage backup, but to identify which is the actual culprit, it’s always best to consult a professional plumber. Additionally, you should avail of water restoration Dallas services as soon as water damage due to sewage backup takes place. 

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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