How to Prevent Sewer Backup

flooded bathroom

Sewer backup is a common problem in St. Louis and throughout the Midwest, especially during the stormy seasons. Sewer lines can only handle so much falling rain. So what happens is, when large amounts of precipitation pour down onto the streets, the storm lines can overflow. And where does the excess sewer water go? Unfortunately, it may flow back into your home through your toilets, showers, or basement. In this post, we explain how to prevent sewer backup and basement flooding.

Prevent Sewer Backup with a Backwater Valve

A great way prevents sewer backup (a.k.a. water backflow) from entering your home is by installing a backwater valve. How does this device keep outbound wastewater from re-entering your home? The backwater valve contains a flap that allows water to flow in only one direction. It opens to let wastewater exit the home and closes to prevent it from coming back in. The valve is designed to activate (or close) when there is excess water, flooding, or blockages in the sewer line that force outbound water to flow in the wrong direction.

Note of Caution…

Homeowners: You will need to let a sewer cable technician know that a backwater valve is present. This is because if the technician tries to run a snake from outside the house into the house, it will hit the valve and may damage it.

Other Ways to Prevent Basement Flooding

If you have problems with basement flooding, in particular, there are other solutions you may want to explore. Remember: The key to waterproofing your basement is to control the amount of water moving in and out of your home. Here are some things you can do to prevent basement flooding:

  • Install a hard-working sump pump (like the Zoeller M63) to prevent groundwater seepage
  • Replace cheap washing machine hoses with high-quality hoses
  • Clean out your gutters regularly
  • Install downspout extensions
  • Re-grade your yard so that it’s pitched down away from the house at least 5 feet
  • Install a whole house water leak detection system for premium defense against water damage

Have questions about how to prevent sewer backup? Need help installing a backwater valve? Contact us! We provide professional backwater valve installation, serving homes all across St. Louis. Call our office at (314) 501-9950 or email