What should I do if sewage backs up into my home?

First, take action to protect people and valuable property. Then, do the following:

  • Keeping in mind that ceramic plumbing fixtures such as toilets are fragile, quickly close all drain openings with stoppers or plugs. Tub, sink, and floor drains may need additional weight to keep them sealed. A string mop can be used to help plug toilet openings.
  • Don’t run any water down your drains until the blockage has been cleared (i.e. dishwashers and laundry should be turned off).
  • Call the Wastewater Utility immediately.
  • A quick check with nearby neighbors will help determine if the backup appears to be in your neighbor’s wastewater line, and/or widespread in your neighborhood.
  • Call a plumber if the problem is in your lateral service line (seeking quotes for all anticipated work is advised). View a list of local plumbing contractors (PDF).

Show All Answers

1. What causes a sewer backup?
2. Is there anything I can do to prevent a sewage backup into my home?
3. How could a sewer backup affect me?
4. What should I do if sewage backs up into my home?
5. If I call the city, what will they do about a sewer backup onto my property?
6. What does the municipality do to prevent this problem?
7. Will insurance cover any damage to my home or property?
8. How and where should I report a sewer backup?