Posts

Sewer Backups

Sanitary sewer line blockages are typically caused by roots, grease, and improper disposal of items.  Tree roots can enter the sanitary sewer system at joints and cracks in the sewer service lines and mains.  Grease can solidify in the sewer lines and restrict other waste from flowing through.  The lines can be blocked by items like disposable diapers, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, washing machine lint, rags or other items improperly flushed down the drain or toilet.  Please refrain from flushing these items and keeping the sanitary sewer lines clear to provide you with good service without backups into your basement.

Extendable Backwater Valves

Basement flooding can result in serious property damage.  Be mindful of your health and safety when cleaning up your flooded basement.  Floodwater may carry waterborne diseases, corrosive agents, irritants, and sharp objects.  Electrical accidents are possible because of contact between appliances and water.  Dress appropriately; wear overalls, gloves, protective eyewear, protective boots and a mask.  Open windows and stay away from electrical equipment and outlets or shut off the electrical power.

A backwater valve is a device that prevents sewage from backing up into your basement.  A valve will automatically prevent water from the sanitary sewer from coming back into your home’s plumbing system.  A properly installed backwater valve must be placed so that sewage backup will be stopped and not come out through plumbing fixtures or the floor drain in your basement.  A licensed plumber can look at your system and recommend the appropriate installation.  If you are going to install a backwater valve, a licensed plumbing contractor must install it properly.  These valves also require periodic inspection and maintenance to remove debris and reduce the risk of failure.  Ask a licensed plumbing contractor how to properly inspect and maintain the backwater valve that is installed for your home.

It is important to note that a backwater valve is designed to be closed during sewer surcharge conditions to keep water from the sanitary sewer system from flowing into your home.  When the backwater valve closes, water from inside of your home will not drain out.  When there is a risk of sewer surcharge, such as during a heavy rain storm, you should avoid using the toilet, sink, shower, washer, dishwasher or any other appliance that releases water to the sanitary sewer system.  The water will not be able to get past your backflow prevention device(s) and will have nowhere to go except back into your home.

If you are redoing the sewer line to your house, the City of Ida Grove suggests you include an extendable backwater valve.  This valve will help prevent sewer line backups into your basement.  If you have any questions, please contact City Hall at 364-2428 or the WWTP Operator Shannon Hazelton at 364-3252.