Sewer Backup Causes

Sewage backup is one of the most damaging emergencies that can affect your property. Not only is it unpleasant, contamination can spread quickly and be detrimental to you and your family’s health if left unchecked. Tidal Wave Response will quickly and efficiently assess the sewer backup causes, and handle all aspects of your sewage emergencies.

What Causes Sewer Backups?

Sewage disposal is usually one of those ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ topics. Unfortunately, that is a large part of why sewage backup occurs. It’s impossible to know that there is a problem with the line until wastewater pipes start backing up. Added to that, there are a number of reasons that sewage can back up into your home.

Sewer Backup Causes

Accumulation of Clogs: Grease, tree roots, and solid materials such as hair, diapers, or sanitary napkins will clog a system over time. These clogs can include vandalism, when someone deliberately stuffs leaves, rocks, bricks, trash, and other debris into manholes.

Aging Sewer Systems: Many older residential and commercial properties still have the plumbing that was installed when the building was first constructed. These systems are usually made of metal piping, which naturally deteriorate over time. It is common for split or collapsed pipes to cause sewage backup.

Problems at the Sanitary Main: When something goes awry at the municipal system, and a clog is not detected quickly, sewage at the sanitary main can back up into residences and businesses. Issues can also arise from insufficient system capacity, when residential or commercial growth exceeds the volume that the municipal system can process.

Blockages due to Tree Roots: This problem is more common in metal piping systems, which may split or break open. Tree roots start out small and can find their way into a split or broken pipe. As the tree grows, the root grows, and the pipe will eventually become blocked.

Construction Mishaps: Accidents happen, and heavy construction equipment can break pipes and dump dirt and rocks into split piping.

Combined pipelines: Some systems combine water and waste pipelines. During heavy rain or flooding, the combined pipelines cannot cope with the volume, and overflow into basements or low-lying areas.

brick-wall-829753_1280Where do Backups Usually Happen?

Most sewer systems utilize gravity to keep flowing, so they naturally follow the slope of the ground. This means that sewage backup will generally manifest itself in the lowest part of your residence or business. Here are the most common places that sewage backup happens:

  • Basements
  • Floor Drains
  • Toilets and/or Sinks
  • Outdoor Sewer lines
  • Septic tanks and/or septic systems


If you notice that your drains and toilets aren’t working efficiently, and the bottle of clog remover you bought at the hardware store doesn’t seem to help, consider calling a plumber. Any licensed plumber will be able to assess the problem and help you take preventative measures against sewage backup.

How Can I Prevent Sewer Backup Into My Home?

Sewer backup is both inconvenient and dangerous. Wastewater can contain disease, harmful bacteria, and viruses that can affect you by direct contact as well as through the air. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to help prevent your sewer lines from getting clogged.

  • Don’t put grease down your garbage disposal or sink drain. It will solidify, collect debris, and accumulate until wastewater is unable to flow efficiently.
  • Do not flush disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, or paper towels down the toilet. These can expand or catch on building clogs, and damage your plumbing system.
  • If you own a house, consider replacing old metal pipelines with new plastic piping. Plastic pipes will not crack like metal pipes, which can collapse or break and allow tree roots to grow inside.

By taking these small steps now, you can minimize the likelihood of sewage backup affecting your property in the long run.

What Can I Do if Sewer Backup is Already in my Home or Business?

If sewer backup is already in your home or business, it’s important for you to act quickly. Tidal Wave Response is fully equipped to handle any sewage emergency. We will handle all aspects of the assessment, removal, cleanup, and restoration. Let our experts clean and restore your property to its’ original state in as little as a week!

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