Fixing Sewage Overflow

Fixing Sewage Overflow

Fixing Sewage Overflow

MJFRICK | Nashville plumbers has a special drainage line that leads to the main sewer, which transports waste from sinks, toilets and bathtubs. When this line becomes clogged, water backs up into your home.

Sewage contains harmful microorganisms that can cause diseases such as gastroenteritis. Avoid direct contact and thoroughly disinfect all surfaces touched by sewage.


When a sewer line gets clogged, water that normally goes down the drains has nowhere to go and is forced back up other drain lines. This is particularly bad when the clog is caused by fats, oils and grease (FOG) that have been washed down the toilet drains of homes and restaurants.

One of the main symptoms of a sewer line clog is toilet drains that seem to hang up or slow down after flushing. Since these drains have the closest connection to your main sewer line, they will be affected first by a clog.

If you notice that your home’s toilet drains are starting to act strangely, it is time to call a plumber for a main sewer line clog inspection and repair. Plumbers have specialty equipment, like mini sewer line inspection cameras and professional-strength drain augers, that can get to even the deepest clogs without damaging the pipe. They can also use enzyme cleaners to keep your main drain lines clean and prevent clogs from returning.

Tree Roots

Trees add beauty and value to a home’s landscape, but their roots can also invade sewer lines. When they do, the results can be disastrous. Repeated drain clogs, slow-moving drains and gurgling toilets are telltale signs of root intrusion.

Licensed plumbers can use a variety of techniques to remove and prevent problematic roots. One common method involves foaming root killer that works to cut through and kill the roots. It’s typically applied every other month or so, according to the product instructions.

Another way to protect a sewer line is to limit the number of trees planted near it. If a homeowner is set on planting a tree in risky proximity to a sewer line, they can use alternatives such as shade trees that grow slowly or have smaller root balls. Also, homeowners should be aware of where their sewer lines are located so they can avoid digging in or around them. The simplest way to do this is by calling 811, the national “Call Before You Dig” hotline.


Sewer systems deteriorate with age and are at risk of breakage or failure due to flooding, ground movement or freezing and thawing cycles. When a sewage pipe or pumping station fails, it may overflow a mixture of sewage and rainwater into waterways, polluting drinking and recreational waters.

During heavy rains, sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) are often the result of overloaded pipes. Frozen or clogged drains can also lead to SSOs. Avoid dumping cooking grease, fats and non-disposable wipes into your drains. Instead, place fats and oils into heat resistant containers to cool and solidify, then dispose of them in the trash.

SSOs contaminate waterbodies, exposing people to illnesses such as aseptic meningitis and rashes from contact with raw sewage. Reducing water use, minimizing stormwater runoff and keeping wastes other than sanitary waste out of pipes helps reduce SSOs. And restoring wetlands, for example, can intercept millions of gallons of stormwater and sewage each year.


Sewage spills create a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria, parasites and molds. The spores soak into porous building materials and can cause immediate health threats for those in the vicinity. The most dangerous greenish-black molds, such as Stachybotrys chartarum, produce mycotoxins that attack the respiratory system and cause infections.

Molds can be killed with hot water, ordinary antibacterial cleaners and vinegar. But if the damage is extensive and the sewage has dripped into walls, flooring or insulation materials, it’s best to call in professionals.

Any items affected by sewage must be disinfected and thoroughly dried before use. This includes carpeting, upholstery and drywall. Running air conditioning or fans will help lower humidity and speed the drying process. Any contaminated clothing should be washed immediately before reuse.

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