The District has responded to several sewer backups recently caused by grease buildup and other obstructions blocking customer sewer services. The following information can help you prevent a costly sewer backup.
The sewer service (lateral) is owned and maintained by homeowners, including the connection to the district’s main. All maintenance and repairs within the lateral are the homeowner’s responsibility, even the portion of the pipe within the street.
If a backup occurs within your sewer service lateral, a contractor must be contacted by the owner to restore sewer service. All damages are the homeowner’s responsibility. Many homeowner’s insurance policies contain an exclusion for sewer backup damages. Coverage is often available but must be requested as an addition to the policy. The District advises homeowners to discuss sewer backup coverage with their insurance agent.
If it is determined to be a backup caused by a mainline blockage, district staff will restore sewer service and work with the owner to clean and restore the affected areas. In the case that you encounter a sewer back up, call the District at 303-979-2333. We can assist in determining if it is a mainline or service line backup.
The following recommendations can help avoid or mitigate damage from a sewer backup:
- Do not plant deep rooted trees over or immediately adjacent to sewer service pipes.
- Do not flush any non-flushable items. Follow the Three P’s rule when it comes to what you can safely flush – flush only pee, poop and (toilet) paper.
- Periodically have your sewer service pipe video inspected by a reputable company and clean the pipe when necessary.
- Do no place valuable personal property on the floor close to a floor drain. Store personal items at least a few inches off the floor or place inside plastic tubs to protect them in the case of a backup.
- Do not wash Fats, Oils or Grease (FOG) down the drain. Deposit these materials in the trash.
Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) can clog your pipes and cause sewer backups.
Pipes blocked by grease is an increasing cause of sewer overflows. Too often, grease is washed into the plumbing system, usually through the kitchen sink. Grease sticks to the insides of sewer pipes (both on your property and in the streets). Over time, grease can build up and block the entire pipe.
Avoid clogged pipes by scraping grease and food scraps into a can or the trash for safe disposal. Raw sewage overflowing in your home is not only unpleasant, but also costly to you, the homeowner. Increased amounts of grease entering the sanitary sewer system can also lead to higher sewer bills for increased operations and maintenance costs.
Remember: Kitchen sinks are not trash cans! Can the grease and prevent sewer backups!
If you do experience a backup:
- Do not run water down any drains or toilets until the problem is identified and corrected.
- Check with your neighbors to see if they are experiencing anything out of the ordinary. This can help determine the location of the problem.
- Call the District! We are available to assist with determining the cause of the backup.
If you have any questions or concerns pertaining to the information in this article, or if you would like the District to review your sewer scope video, call the District office at 303-979-2333.