Wastewater Backup Protection

Private Service Line ResponsibilityProtect Your Property

Property owners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their sewer service line from the building to the point of connection with the City wastewater main. Wastewater backups can happen to anyone in any home or business. Unfortunately, not all sewer backups are preventable. One of three things usually causes them:

  • Clogs – Flushing such things as diapers, feminine hygiene products, napkins, food, grease and fats can clog your service line and collect in mains, causing blockages that can affect nearby homes as well.
  • Tree Roots – Tree roots growing through cracks and breaks in pipes can block service lines and mains. The smallest crack is an invitation to a root seeking water.
  • Broken or Collapsed Services and Mains – Collapsed lines will block and diminish the flow of wastewater. Breaks allow groundwater to infiltrate the lines, allowing soil to collect, reducing the flow and further providing an opportunity for root intrusion.

backwater protection device 1One thing property owners can do to protect from wastewater backups is to install a backwater protection device, especially if the top overflow of the lowest plumbing fixture is below the top of the next upstream manhole. 

A backwater protection valve can protect your home from possible damage and expensive cleanup related to wastewater system blockages.

How do backwater devices work?

A backwater protection device is designed to allow water to flow from your toilets, sinks and bathtubs out of your home/building to the public sewer main. If wastewater begins to flow backwards because of an obstruction, the flap on the backwater device will close to stop it from re-entering your home. 

A backwater protection device should be installed and tested by a licensed plumber to make sure the device meets standard plumbing code.

Hot Springs Code relating to wastewater backflow damage claims

In 1999, the Hot Springs Board of Directors adopted an ordinance stating the following:

By city ordinance, the City of Hot Springs will not consider any claims for damages caused by wastewater backflow if the installation of a backwater protection device could have prevented such damage. (Res. No. 4139, 3/1/1999, 9-3-4)

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