Just imagine it for a second – sewage that leaks back into your ground floor or your basement. Imagine opening the doors to your home, only to find that there is a tremendous mess across the floor. If you install a backwater valve, you can prevent sewers from backing up altogether and prevent this nightmare scenario.
Why Sewage Backups Happen
Before you understand why we experience sewer backup, you must understand that sewer systems are traditionally based on gravity. The water flows from your home to a wastewater treatment plant. If there is a sudden heavy rainstorm or we find that snow is suddenly melting, the debris outside can be flushed towards the sanitary sewers and mainline storm sewers. These can only hold so much water, which means that they are eventually going to backup into your basement. When these sewer systems are unable to deal with the amount of water, sewage can come back. This means that you are forced to deal with a mess. You can also experience backups because of grease or tree roots in your sewer line.
How A Backwater Valve Can Help To Prevent Flooding
If you have a backwater valve on your mainline, you can make sure that an overloaded main sewer line is not going to have sewage coming into your basement. The valve is going to close automatically when sewage comes up from the main line if you place the backwater valve directly into your basement sewer lateral.
Remember: Not All Backwater Valves Are Equal
There are a few different types of backwater valve that are simply not recommended. Even though they can prevent the surge of water coming into your basement, underneath your basement floor you are going to notice that sewer backup pressure builds up. This could lead to structural damage to your home. If you are considering a backwater valve, it is a good idea to speak to a plumbing professional before you make your choice.
Depending on where you live, and what the occurrence of sewer flooding events is in your area, you might be required to install a backwater valve by your insurer. If you want to maintain insurance coverage and have suffered considerable sewer backup damage, you may need to install a backwater valve. To encourage the installation of these preventive devices, some municipalities offer rebates for your backwater valve installation. Again, if you want more information about what the possibilities are, it is a good idea to speak to a professional.