What Causes a Sewer Backup?

Solid items blocking the drain:
The most common cause of sewer backup is solid items accidentally or intentionally flushed down the toilet or forced down a kitchen sink. These can include clumps of hair, kitchen grease, or paper products like sanitary napkins or paper towels.


 How do you deal with this?

  • Don’t put any solids down the toilet or sink that are not supposed to be there. As a general rule, the only paper product you should flush down the toilet is toilet paper.
  • Never pour grease into the sink. Grease can cling to the inside of your pipes and cause backup over time. Instead, allow it to congeal first and then scrape it into a trashcan

Tree Root Obstructions:
Overgrown tree roots can wreak havoc on your pipes. Roots can grow through pipes, blocking water and debris as the tree grows. They can also crack or break pipes that come in contact with them.

How do you deal with this risk?

  • If you have an old or large tree on your property, you may need to schedule regular checks with a plumber to determine if roots are infiltrating your pipes.
  • Before you landscape your yard, we suggest doing research on what types of trees are the most likely to cause invasive root problems. Plant trees at least 10 feet from your sewer lines in order to minimize the risk of root obstruction.

While these simple techniques can minimize your risk of sewer backup, many of the causes of blockages are out of your hands. Some blockages can originate in the city sewer lines, while others are the result of storms inundating the sewer.

For questions or to report problems: 724-489-4493