To report a sewer emergency, call our 24 hour sewer emergency service line (314) 889-1904
There are a number of different reasons why sewer back-ups occur. Rock Creek Public Sewer District truly regrets the inconvenience this situation causes. The following sections will cover where sewer backups occur, why they occur, and who is financially responsible.
Lateral Line Problems
Lateral lines are those which extend from the customers home to the main sewer line. Lateral lines are commonly four or six inches in diameter. Main sewer lines are always eight inches in diameter or larger. The lateral line is considered part of the home and is the responsibility of the homeowner. The majority of back-ups occur because the lateral line from the home to the main line becomes stopped up. The stoppage can occur from several different things, but most commonly occur from items being flushed down the toilet or drain or roots that have grown into the lateral line. Most homeowner insurance policies DO NOT cover damage caused by lateral lines that become clogged and cause damage. Homeowners should check with their insurance provider and verify their exact coverage related to lateral back-ups.
Main Line Problems:
Rock Creek Public Sewer District owns the main line sewers. The main line sewer is always eight inches in diameter or larger. There are times when a main line sewer can become clogged and result in a back-up into a customers home. The liability to Rock Creek Public Sewer District varies based on the reason for the back-up. If an obstruction in the main line sewer is caused by vandalism, such as rocks, rags, and bottle or other debris deposited in the line, Rock Creek Public Sewer District has no financial responsibility to cover damage to your home. The same is true of clogs caused by sanitary napkins, roots, grease, or other such items put into the sewer system.
Acts of God
The most common reason for a sewer to back-up is excessive rain or flooding. Although the sanitary sewer system is completely separate from the storm water lines, rainwater can get into the sanitary sewer lines. Excessive amounts of rainwater can use the capacity of the sanitary sewer and cause a back-up to occur in basements and homes. Rock Creek Public Sewer District is NOT responsible for any damage resulting from Acts of God.
Sewer Back-up Insurance
Most homeowner’s insurance policies will NOT cover damage from water that backs up through the sewer line, drains, or sump pumps. Even if a homeowner has flood insurance, sewer and drain back-ups are normally excluded from the policy. Coverage for this type of event must be added as a rider to your policy. Rock Creek Public Sewer District encourages each homeowner to verify their coverage with their insurance provider. This is especially important for customers who live in low-lying areas and those with finished basements.
If you are experiencing a sewer back-up, please contact Rock Creek Public Sewer District as soon as possible. Call 314-889-1904 for 24 hour emergency service. The district will respond to all calls as soon as possible to determine the cause of the problem and take corrective measures. If the cause is in the customer’s lateral line, the customer will be informed so that he or she can arrange for a plumber to correct the problem.
Rock Creek Public Sewer District recommends the following actions if damage occurs because of a back-up
- All sewage and water should be removed immediately from the affected areas. This can be accomplished by using wet vacuums.
- Remove all wet rugs, clothes, boxes, and other items from the affected area. All washable items should be cleaned immediately. This includes rugs, clothes, and any other item that can be cleaned in a washing machine.
- All water should be removed from carpets and then the carpet cleaned and deodorized.
- All concrete floors should be washed down with fresh water, and then washed with a strong cleanser or other germ and odor killing solution.
- All items contained in boxes should be removed, cleaned, dried, and the boxes should be thrown away.
- Only keep necessary items. If you are keeping any item make sure the items are thoroughly cleaned before it is put away. The basement area should be thoroughly dried. Floor fans and a dehumidifier can be rented from a local rental shop.