Sewage is backing up into my basement, who should I call or what should I do?
During normal business hours contact the City of Clemson Utilities Department at (864) 653-2046 or after hours contact the Clemson Police Department at (864) 624-2000. The Police Dispatcher will contact our Utilities on-call personnel. We will promptly examine the "City" sewer line, at no charge, to determine whether the problem is on our line or yours. If the blockage is in the City line, we will use whatever means necessary to open it and restore flow. If the blockage is in your house lateral, we will advise that you call a professional plumber.
Who should I call if my sanitary sewer backs up AFTER normal working hours?
Call the City of Clemson Police Department at (864) 624-2000. The Police Dispatcher will contact the Utilities on-call personnel. Once on site, we will determine whether the problem lies with the City line or with your lateral line.
If I have a sewer problem, who do I call?
You should first call us, the City of Clemson Utilities Department, at (864) 653-2046. We can then determine what your issue is and if we can be of any help in resolving the problem.
Who is responsible for cleanup as a result of a sewer backup?
The property owner is responsible for cleanup, so you will likely need to contact your insurance carrier. If a problem with a City main was the possible cause of the backup, we will contact our insurance carrier to make a determination of liability.
I have slow drainage through my toilets, showers, and sinks. What can I do about it?
Slow drainage is usually caused by clogs in your plumbing, so you’ll need to try cleaning the drain or call a plumber.
In a small percentage of cases, there may be an obstruction in the city sewer line. If you suspect this may be the case, call the City of Clemson Utilities Department at (864) 653-2046, and we will check out the main lines.
It smells like “sewer gas” in my basement -- what should I do?
The most common cause of “sewer gas” (hydrogen sulfide) odor in basements is due to improperly maintained floor drains or dry traps on sinks. Floor drains are designed to “trap” the hydrogen sulfide gases in the sewer and keep them from your home. Fortunately, the issue is easily remedied:
What causes a sanitary sewer to backup?
- Locate all of the floor drains.
- Pour water in each floor drain on a regular basis.
- Never let the floor drain dry out.
- Make sure that all plumbing fixtures are used at least periodically in order to keep water in the traps.
- Check the stack vents on your roof to ensure that they are not blocked by leaves, etc.
Most sewer backups occur when the lines get clogged with debris, which often happens when people misuse or vandalize the system. However, backups can occur for other reasons such as poor condition of the sanitary sewer system or natural conditions (i.e. the ground moving or a lot of rain).
What causes a sewer stoppage?
Sewer stoppages can occur when the City sewer line becomes obstructed and your home is lower than the manhole in the street. This will eventually cause a residential back-up, which usually means water/sewage coming up through a floor drain or lowest drain in a home. The same symptoms will occur when the obstruction is located in the residential lateral.
To prevent a sewer backup in the house, a backwater valve or “pop-off sewer clean out” needs to be installed outside your home. By the Building Code, you are required to have a backflow preventer if the floor level of your house is not at least 18 inches above the level of the top of the upstream manhole that serves your home.