What is a Sewer Backup?

What is a "Sewer Backup" and Who is Responsible?

Sewer backups not only cause damage that is problematic and expensive to repair, but also create health hazards.

Floods are what come to mind for causing extensive water damage to homes and businesses. However, perhaps more serious is Sewage from sanitary sewer lines backing up into homes through your drain pipes.

Most homeowner and business insurance policies do not cover sewer backup unless specific sewer backup coverage is added to the policy. Obtaining a rider on a homeowners or business insurance policy will cover such damage if it occurs.

Sewer backup coverage is available from your insurer and it is affordable, perhaps $40-$50 additional on an annual insurance policy.

The pipes that carry your home's sanitary sewage to the city sewer piping – typically under the road – are called sewer laterals. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner and include any part that may extend into the street or public right of way.

Most home and business owners don't know that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house sewer and the sewer lateral.

A cracked or deteriorated lateral or one filled with tree roots can allow groundwater to seep into the system, contributing to sewer backup problems. There are other issues with cracked pipes like soil supersaturation which can possibly contribute to foundation issues in your home.

This includes the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main which is usually located under the street, and your building.

Sewer Inspection

BC Preferred Sewer Camera Inspection

Video camera in-line inspection shows problems and your sewer pipe condition. Camera Inspections are an excellent way to detect obstructions including roots, sludge buildup, broken pipe, tile or connections, negative grade slope, pipe sag, offset joints, and cracks.