Sewer Backups

From time to time some homes may experience a sewer backup. In most cases the backup is due to problems in the home sewer lateral (typically tree roots). The home sewer lateral is the pipe that runs from just inside the basement of a home to the point where the pipe connects to the city sewer main (usually in the center of the street or alley). It is the homeowners’ responsibility to maintain the sewer lateral.

My sewer is backing up. What do I do?

Don’t Panic! If you think the backup is due to a city blockage, call us and we’ll come take a look. During regular business hours call the wastewater treatment plant to report the backup. After hours, call the Public Safety Department and tell them you have a sewer backup. They will page the on call wastewater staff.

       •  Business Hours 8 p.m. – 5 p.m. (Mon – Fri)  (316) 775 - 4535
       •  After Hours and Weekends  (316) 775 - 4510

If the problem is not in the city sewer main then you will need to contact a plumber.

What if the backup is from the city sewer main?

In some instances, the home sewer lateral is not the cause of the backup. Though our wastewater operators clean City sewer mains on a regular basis, it is still possible for a City sewer pipe to back up into a resident’s home. Augusta has a practice of assisting you with the cleanup if the blockage occurs in the City’s main sewer line.

Indications that the sewer main may be blocked:

  • Sewage gushing in even though no one in the building is using any water.
  • Neighbors in your building or on the same side of your street are having the same problem.
  • Water coming out of sewer manhole (not storm drain) near your structure.

Who pays for damage, cleanup and repairs?

Either you or your insurance company, provided you have a sewer backup policy. If the blockage is in the service line (on private property), it is the homeowner’s responsibility.  Augusta does not pay for repairs or damages. Most blockages are caused by improper discharges into the system.

How can you protect yourself from this kind of backup?

  • Obtain coverage for sewer backups through your homeowner’s insurance.
  • Install a backflow preventer on your home sewer lateral. (Consult with a plumber for more details.)

If you have any further questions regarding sewer backups, please contact Superintendent Shane Noland at 316-775-4535.