Cesspool In Your Basement? What May Be Causing The Sewage Backflow

Old houses have floor drains in the basement. It is a throwback to when houses did not have plumbing and were just getting connected to city plumbing systems. Rather than reconstruct the entire basement and foundation, the plumbing went underneath the basement floor and left connected openings in the basement floors for water to drain downward and into the sewer system. Unfortunately, that also means that you may encounter pools of raw sewage in your basement from time to time. These personal cesspools can range from as small as a foot across to as large as the entire basement floor. Here are some common causes.

Flooded Sewers

Heavy rains and flooding can cause city sewers to back up. The back up sludge heads into the nearest pipes, which are often residential sewer pipe connections. As the flood waters or rain continue to overflow city sewer drains, the sludge in the pipes backs up into your house. There is not much you can do but wait for the flood waters or rain to drop/evaporate. If you still have a problem a week after the waters have subsided and city crews have fixed the overflowing drains, contact a residential plumber, such as http://1stclassplumber.com/. He or she will check your sewer lines to make sure there is no blockage preventing the raw sewage from retreating back down the floor drains.

Tampons and Maxi-Pads

As embarrassing as it is to leave your used female hygiene products in the bathroom waste can, it is much more embarrassing for a plumber to pull it out of the toilet pipe drain and plop it on your basement floor. Consider that, the next time you are tempted to flush a pad or tampon. (Since these products are designed to absorb a lot of fluid, it should not surprise you to learn that they absorb everything and expand to major pipe blockage size.) If you have female guests, leave some instructions in the bathroom right where ladies can see them so that you are not footing a $250 plumbing bill to remove their feminine waste products from your backed-up sewer line. 

Tree Roots

Tree roots are unbelievably guilty when it comes to creating a problem in your pipes. Shrubs are no better. There are some trees and evergreen bushes that have very deep roots. The roots seek out "water," and then force their tap roots into the plumbing below. Over time, the pipe is destroyed, the sewage backs up daily, and then you have an utter mess. To fix this problem, the trees or bushes will have to be removed and the pipes replaced.