All blog posts, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted to the Author (that's me) and may not be used without written permission.

Search This Blog

August 13, 2014

Sewer Flood Follow-Up

A year ago we had a sewer flood into our basement. It took us a while to clean up from that issue. We also felt that finishing the bathroom in the basement would help close off many of the open holes and pipes that helped allow the sewage to back up into our house. One of the outstanding issues involved was the "belly" in the sewage line that they found when they scoped our line after the flood.

We finally saved enough money and found someone to dig up our yard and go looking for the belly to repair. They started on Monday. After two days of digging, they found the line nearly 12 feet below the surface of our front lawn. However, after exposing nearly 30 feet of sewer line, they could not find the belly described. We came up with a plan to have the same company come back out and review the line again and pinpoint where the dip in the line actually was. Unfortunately, it was found to be underneath our porch, below and behind the asphalt walkway, and underneath some very large, decorative rocks in our yard, rather than farther out in the lawn area as we were originally led to believe.

In the end, we decided it would be fairly major construction to try to fix the belly where it is located. So, the plumbers and diggers came up with a new plan: we installed a backflow device with a pipe that will lead to the surface of the yard. That pipe can be opened and a plumber/sewer specialist can use it to look at the sewer pipe and clean it out as needed. They also recommended that filling and draining the bath every now and then would likely provide enough flow and weight to clear out the belly of any build up and debris.

The good thing is that the plumbers saw very little build up in the year since the flood. So our "best practices," and the fact that I often take a bath already, seem to be keeping the belly clear. As we are on the end (lowest point) of a sewer line with our house's location, I feel much more confident having a "whole home" backflow installed, too.

Will it look nice, having that pipe in the middle of our yard? No. But I'm thinking we can plant some small bushes around it and make a decorative central point to look at that will both hide it from casual view and keep it accessible. In the meantime, the digging has decimated our front yard and we'll probably have to pay hundreds of dollars to repair it when they are finished with the project.

Ain't being a homeowner grand?


  1. Oh, no! That sewer flood is nasty. Thank goodness you took care of that already. And what's even more important is that you took steps to prevent this from happening again. It's great that you and your plumbers agreed on a "Plan B", so that you could take care of it yourself, should it come to that. You even improvised on how it'll look. Keep us posted once this project is finished. Thanks for sharing!

    Levi Eslinger @ Capital Plumbing & Heating

  2. Well, it's better to be left with exposed pipes, than continuous water damage. In any case, I think you settled on the best decision regarding the matter. Fixing it around the exact belly where it's located will prove to be a lot more work, so extending the sewer line should be the most confident solution you can really land on. Thanks for sharing that! All the best! :)

    Gail Wallace @ Emergency Flood Masters