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Prevent Sewer Backup: 

Experiencing a Sewer Emergency? Call us at (605) 467-1503.

Protecting your home from Sewage Backup

How does a sewer backflow preventer work?

It’s a device that prevents sewage or water from entering your home through the sewage system when the main line gets too full. The preventer has a small flap that’s usually open to let water and sewer vapors flow out of your home. It also has floaters on both sides of the flap, allowing it to open and close. If water or sewage starts to flow back into your home, the floaters will make the flap close and stop the water from coming in. Once the water stops flowing in the wrong direction, the flap will open again and allow water and sewage to continue to flow out of your home. To check if your preventer is working correctly, look at the clear-cover access box on the backwater preventer. This simple device is important to keeping your home safe from sewage backups.


Does every house need a sewer backflow preventer?

Backflow preventers are an important safety device for homes located in areas with potential flooding or sewage backup. These devices are installed in the home’s sewer line and work to ensure that only clean, treated water flows back into local sewers and rivers. 

Backflow preventers also guard against contaminants in drinking water supplies and protect aquatic habitats by blocking the flow of pollutants. Installing a backflow preventer is especially important if your home is near a river, lake, or ocean. These locations have a higher risk of experiencing flooding or sewage backup events. In many areas, it is now required by law that all residential homes have such devices installed. 


What are the benefits of installing a sewer backwater preventer in your home?

A sewer backwater preventer can provide several benefits for your home, including:

  • Preventing sewage backups: The primary benefit of a sewer backwater preventer is that it helps prevent sewage backups in your home. This device stops sewage from flowing back into your house through the sewer line during heavy rain or flooding.

  • Protecting your property: Sewage backups can cause extensive damage to your property, including floors, walls, and furniture. By installing a backwater preventer, you can protect your property from costly repairs and restoration.

  • Improving public health: Sewage backups can also pose a risk to public health by exposing people to harmful bacteria and other contaminants. A backwater preventer helps keep these contaminants out of your home and the surrounding environment.

  • Reducing insurance premiums: Some insurance companies offer discounts on homeowner’s insurance policies if you have a sewer backwater preventer installed in your home. This is because it reduces the risk of expensive claims related to sewage backups.


Installing a sewer backwater preventer can provide peace of mind knowing that you’re protecting both your home and the environment from the damaging effects of sewage backups.


How is a sewer backflow preventer installed?

If you’re wondering how a sewer backflow preventer is installed, here are the basic steps:

  1. Figure out where to put it: The first step is finding the best spot for the backflow preventer. It should be downstream from anything that could make it dirty and upstream from anything that might cause pressure.

  2. Install the device: Once you know where to put it, you must install the backflow preventer by cutting into the sewer line and doing what the manufacturer says.

  3. Connect it to your plumbing system: After installation, connect the device to your plumbing system. This could mean hooking it up straight to a fixture or using a bypass valve to connect it alongside your current plumbing.

  4. Test and inspect: Lastly, test and inspect your backflow preventer regularly to make sure it’s working properly and keeping sewage backups away.


(Excerpts from article on

Who can install a backflow preventer?

Be sure to work with a licensed plumber to determine your best options for your cabin and have them install the proper components  System manager Justin Carlson is also available to answer questions you or your plumber may have.

To discuss backflow prevention, call your plumber or System Manager Justin Carlson at 605.467.1503

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