How do I prevent a backup?

As soon as you notice slow-running drains you should stop using your home's drainage fixtures, call a plumber or the District office. If the problem is in the building sewer, call your plumber to clear the blockage before it gets bad enough to become a backup. Roots, grease, and debris are the most common cause of blocked sewers. Take these precautions:

  • Roots: Don't plant trees or large shrubs near sewer lines. Roots grow toward breaks and cracks in lines in search of a ready water source. If roots get inside the pipe, they form balls that clog the line.
  • Grease: Dispose of grease and fats with your trash - not down the drain! Grease in drains collects and hardens into a plug.
  • Illegal Plumbing Connections: Don't connect French drains, roof gutters, sump pumps, and other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer. It's illegal and debris and silt will clog your line. Consult a plumber to undo any illegal connections.

Show All Answers

1. What do I do when I smell sewer odors/gases out in the street?
2. How do I report sewage overflowing from a sewer manhole out in the street?
3. What if my sewer backs up?
4. Who is responsible for cleanup as a result of a sewer backup?
5. How do I prevent a backup?