Early sewer systems were invented by the Romans back in the 750s BCE. However, this technology was lost during the Dark Ages and handling of our personal waste became much less sanitary. In the 1400s, pipes from houses would dump waste into the streets to be carried away. By the 1500s, cesspools and sewer systems were common but ran down the sides of public streets. As a person living in the 2000s, the idea of seeing and smelling waste is not something we want to do or think about.
For the most part, modern sewers are great. They keep all the unmentionable ick out of sight as long as they’re working properly. Today we’ll discuss what backflow is and why backflow prevention is something you want to be aware of so you don’t end up with a medieval sewer situation in your home.
What is backflow?
Your neighborhood sewer system is designed so that each home has a sewer line that runs down and connects to the sewer main line that runs the length of your street, connects to other main lines and eventually connects to the water sewage treatment plant. If all goes well, you do your business, you flush, it goes down your sewer line to the main sewer line and heads off to be cleaned for reuse in the sewage system.
Backflow occurs when the main sewer line gets a clog and sewage builds up behind that clog and, if it’s serious enough, can actually flow back up the sewer line toward your house. If you don’t have a backflow prevention device (BPD), and the clog in the main sewer line is significant, all that dirty sewage water can end up coming back up your pipes and into your drains. No one wants to see water and waste they flushed away come back to haunt them.
How do backup prevention devices work?
Most properties should have both a cleanout and a backup prevention device to prevent backflow from polluting your home. Backup prevention devices allow water and other materials that come back up from a main sewer line clog to escape from the cleanout instead of heading back up into your house. A plumber can easily install or replace a backup prevention device on your property. These are not items sold at your local big box hardware store – they are specialty devices.
There are four main types of BPDs – spring-loaded pop up, gravity pop-up, mushroom type and self-locking pop-up. Depending on how close your house is the sewer main line will determine which type is best to prevent backflow from entering and contaminating your home. If you’re having backflow problems at your home, you should address this immediately as sewage waste poses a health concern in addition to being smelly and unsightly.
Contact the trenchless sewer repair experts at Budget Sewer today. We offer a free estimate and $25 off an in-depth sewer inspection. We offer excellent results, guaranteed, with minimal disruption to your lawn and landscaping. Our expert plumbers rely on state-of-the-art video diagnostics to ensure we pinpoint the problem area accurately so we don’t waste your time or money. We’re five star rated on Yelp and Judy’s Book. Call us today at (206) 381-1904 for affordable, expert plumbing services.