What can you tell me about Sewers?

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Hi! I'm sure this has been covered some time in the past and may seem somewhat simple to many of you, but, what are the repercussions of the sewer not working, or getting backed up, and what should be done to counter this concern?

Thanks for your advice and ideas, Apple

-- Apple (villarta@itsnet.com), March 08, 1999


If the sewer backs up, the proverbial S could HT (solar powered) F. A plumbers ballon inflated in the clean-out would prevent that.

-- Mr Flush (gravity@ll.downhill), March 08, 1999.

hi Apple :-)
There were a bunch of Sewer threads around the beginning of November.
Look under "Utilities" in the archives, scroll down.
Some had excellent explanations written by Robert Cook and others.
Arewyn also started a good thread thereabouts.
One thing to remember is, if sewage backs up and inundates the apt/house, it smells, worse & worse, and breeds disease.
Under normal circumstances the dwelling might be condemned uninhabitable until very thoroughly cleaned, but if 1000s of homes are up $#!+ creek all at the same time, where will the manpower be to evacuate everybody?

This issue is, after looting, one of the most troubling to contemplate.

Cold, dark, etc is dealable, but sewage ... not so.

Anyway, don't have the steam to repeat what's on those earlier good threads ... happy digging ;-D

Got shovels, hot water and bleach?

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx x

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), March 08, 1999.

One more time -- just to dot the i's and cross the t's-- if there's no power, there's no running water, and without water nothing much will be flowing in the sanitary sewers. Storm sewers carry storm water -- rain & snow melt -- but in most systems storm sewers are separate from sanitary sewers.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), March 08, 1999.

I have looked at the utility threads below, and cannot find the most important info: How do I prevent the sewer from backing up?? Is there a lever I can throw, or a valve I can turn??? What is a plumbers balloon? Any simple answers would be really appreciated.

I would like to say thank you to Ed Yourdon, and all the others who contribute to this forum. It is a real pleasure to learn from you all.

-- Richard, USMC (rkb65@hotmail.com), March 08, 1999.

Richard, USMC,

Aren't there any good Sea Bees on your post? They should be able to help you with this sort of problem.

Mark (former) US Army

Take care!

-- Mark Hillyard (foster@inreach.com), March 08, 1999.

Apple and Richard; At what relative elevation are you located? Most sewer lines flow by gravity to treatment plants. Pumps service low lying areas. They could be uninhabitable if electricity or pumping controls fail. This is one of the conundrums that are influencing some folks to consider relocation. Best wishes,

-- Watchful (seethesea@msn.com), March 08, 1999.

From the EPA Everything you need to know on this site

Office Of Water Y2K Sector Action Plan


Office Of Water Y2K Sector Action Plan

-- Brian (imager@ampsc.com), March 08, 1999.

I'm on septic not sewer, however, if I were on sewer and lived in a low lying area, I would open up the cleanout, attach a pipe to it and run it out to the street. Or dig up your sewer where it connects to the street and let the sewage run down the storm drains instead of into your house. May want to purchase some extra plywood to build a temporary outhouse in your backyard, and don't forget bags of lye. I would be concerned about typhoid and hepatitis so take precaution ITSHTF.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), March 08, 1999.

You can get a backflow prevention valve installed by a plumber for about $400. Your sewer authority should be willing to come out and inspect the topography of your site and discuss the need.

-- Puddintame (dit@dot.com), March 08, 1999.

Wow! Thanks everyone! Sincerely, apple

-- Apple (villarta@itsnet.com), March 08, 1999.

The plumbers balloon is a small bag that you insert into the sewer pipe and fill it up WITH WATER. If there is no electricity to run the sewer pumps, there will also be no electricity to pump the water to fill the plumbers balloon. The domino effect again. The ball valve is the best bet. At least find the service hole where a PCV cap can be removed to remove obstructions in the pipe. Perhaps a small log could be cut to fit into this opening so that it would block the flow if the sewer started to backup. At least the cover could be left off so that the overflow is in the yard instead of in the house. Yuk.

-- Steve (Steve@notstupid.com), March 08, 1999.

WOW is right. I cannot believe Puddintame replied to my post. I am all aquiver, in fact I feel like a school girl!! Or at least what I imagine school girls feel like. :D Thanks for the reply, really, I am calling a plumber asap for my backflow device. Do I really need the sewer authority to inspect things? Are you saying I may not really need??? I am on level ground. I can see that if I were at the top of a hill, I might not need to worry. Mark H>- I took my discharge, so am no longer on active duty. But you are right. Where is a good sailor when you need one??? Watchful- I am in the tidewater region of Virginia. Dig 3 feet, and hit water. Is that bad for me??? Will this backflow device work??? I own my home, and do not want to flee to my friends farm, but may if forced to, etc. Do not want to abandon simply due to sewage. Bardou- I have two chemical toilets for this very reason. But I have delayed in tackaling the subject of sewer backflow.

Thanks to all for your replies.

-- Richard,USMC (rkb65@hotmail.com), March 08, 1999.

Richard; Pleased to hear that you are rich with water. Must plug sewer very tight or cut it off somehow. Hail to the Virginias. Keep well!

-- Watchful (seethesea@msn.com), March 08, 1999.

After having just finished a very informative conversation with my local wastewater utility, I can DEFINITELY recommend that you make a call to yours. I discovered that I am less than 50 feet from a pumping station, the sewage will flow downhill right past me, and in a worst case scenario, if the pumping station fails, it will dump into the nearby river (the analogy used was that even that would be like dumping a cup of water into a swimming pool). Elevation is everything. Apparently, so is location to pumping stations, and maybe even water. A friend lives near a lake and he told me she would have the same situation.

Now the only thing we need to be concerned about is whether water will be provided to FLUSH the johns! Hope this helps!

-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), March 11, 1999.

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