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All of the plumbing fixtures in your building are connected to this system through a series of pipes behind the walls and under the floors. This includes toilets, showers, bathtubs, sinks, washing machines and floor drains.
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More often than not, the cause of a backup in your lateral is from items that the line is not meant to handle, such as kid's toys, underwear, towels, diapers, paper products (other than toilet paper), keys and even false teeth. What you flush down the toilet may not affect you, but it might cause problems for your neighbors! Another possible cause would be rooted in your lateral. The sewer lateral is the responsibility of the owner of the property from the house to the street.
The property owner can do many things to prevent the lateral from backing up. Remember too, that these very same things can help to prevent backups in the sanitary sewer main as well. If everyone would be careful about how they dispose of certain products, our systems would be a great deal more efficient, cause fewer backups, cost us all less money, and prevent a lot of misery.
Backflow valves are designed to block drainpipes temporarily and prevent flow into the house. They are available in a variety of designs. A "gate" backflow valve provides a strong seal, but must be operated by hand. The effectiveness of a gate valve will depend on how much warning you have of impending flooding.
A "flap" or "check" valve opens to allow flow out of the house but closes when the flow reverses, so the sewer water can't flow back up into the pipes. These valves operate automatically, so the homeowner does not have to be around if flooding occurs, but do not provide as strong a seal as a gate valve.
Points to keep in mind:
Most parcels within the Township have access to the public sanitary sewer line. For those that don't, several options are available to extend the public line to a convenient location near the property.