Sewer main line inspections are part of our free emergency response. Helping reduce blockages can reduce the cost to fix the problem and reduce overall sewer expenditures. Here are a few tips that will help protect against blockages.

Home Improvement Tips

Install a backflow prevention device: The best way to protect your home or business from a sewer backup is by installing and maintaining a backflow prevention system. A backflow prevention system acts as a check valve that allows sewage to flow out while blocking any sewage from flowing back into the building. In the event of a sewer or lateral backup the water flowing back towards the building will be released through the backflow instead of surcharging into the building. 

Repair deteriorated pipes: Some homes may have damaged or deteriorated pipes. Before considering upgrades or replacement, you may want to contact a plumber to discuss which options are appropriate for your situation.

Remove illegal plumbing connections: Don’t connect floor drains, roof gutters, sump pumps, and other drainage systems to the sanitary sewer. It’s illegal and debris and silt will clog your line. Consult a plumber to disconnect illegal connections immediately.

Don’t plant trees or large shrubs near sewer lines: Roots grow toward breaks and cracks in the pipes in search of a source of water. If roots get inside the pipe, they form blockages.
 

Kitchen and Bathroom Tips

Only flush the 3P’s: The 3P’s stands for Pee, Poop, and Paper and they are the only materials that should be flushed down the toilet. Flushable wipes, disposable diapers, condoms, and personal hygiene products do not belong in the sewer system.

Do not pour fats, oils, and grease down the drain: Dispose of grease and fats in the green organics cart – don’t put them down the drain! Grease collects and hardens inside the pipes and forms a solid plug that can lead to sewer problems.

Use the green organics cart instead of the garbage disposal: Do not wash items like food scraps, tea leaves, coffee grounds, and eggshells down the sink. Instead, use a strainer over your sinks, tubs, and showers and dispose of collected materials in your green organics cart.

Do not pour household hazardous waste down the drain: Do not pour paint, engine oil, pesticides or chemicals down the sink. Some hazardous materials can corrode the sewer, pose a health threat to maintenance crews working in the sewers, pollute the environment, or complicate the wastewater treatment process. Additionally, dumping household hazardous waste into the sewer is illegal and you could be heavily fined. Click here to learn how to dispose of these materials properly.

Use the recommended amount of dish soap and detergent: Use the manufacturer's recommended amount of detergent for washing up in the kitchen or laundry. The average household uses three times more detergent than manufacturers recommended for washing dishes and clothes. When these detergents enter the sewerage system, they hold large amounts of oil, grease, and fats in suspension, making cleaning and treating the wastewater difficult and costlier. Additionally, phosphate in the detergent can cause the growth of algae in water.