What to do in case of sewage backup?

I'm trying to prepare for emegency situations, but I have no answer for this one: if sewage backups out of my sink or toilet, what should I do? I live in a 2 story house with crawl space, surrounded by dozens of similar houses all built aound 20 to 30 years ago. This is not a flood zone; there is no backflow preventer. There is also no rentention pond. The area is on a plateau (flat for miles but is a few hundred feet above sea level).
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peter wrote:

backs up it will go all over your lawn instead of inside your house.
--
Blattus Slafaly ? 3 :) 7/8

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peter wrote:

Crawl space means no floor drains, as there would be in a basement. Right? So, all the fixtures are well above grade level.
In that case, I would say there is zero likelihood of backup out of toilets/sinks due to stoppage/flooding of the city sewer.
If there was a stoppage, either in the sewer or in your lateral connection (tree roots) AND you flushed a toilet, then it would/could backup within your house.
Is that what you were looking for?
Jim
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Isn't it possible for a neighbor to throw something in the toilet that eventually clogs the city sewer line? If this happens, then subsequent flushing or use of water would cause a backup. Or is the city sewer line so large that nothing passing through a toilet could possible get stuck there?

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peter wrote:

Yes, indeed, that could happen. But OP's house (as I understand it) only has a crawl space with no fixtures below grade.
If the city sewer clogs or backs up, it's unlikely that could cause sewage to flow from fixtures well above grade (though one can't rule it out altogether).
Jim

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city sewer lines are typically very large, to handle water infiltration during storms.
tree roots can attack sewers, and cause much grief
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

This is a commonly held belief that seems to be wrong.
See this link - it is the best explanation I have found so far. http://www.winnipeg.ca/waterandwaste/sewage/treeRoots.stm
Tree roots don't attack sewer lines. Sewer lines deteriorate and or fail and then the resulting escape of water and air creastes an environment that attracts tree roots.
Also, while it is a very good idea to prepare for an emergency, you can only prepare to deal with things that you can have some control or influence over. If there is a blockage of the City sewer main there is nothing the homeowner can do except call the municipal authority and wait for them to respond. If there is a true emergency going on, I suspect the municipality has other things on their minds.
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peter wrote:

See this recent story: http://www2.sunjournal.com/html/doughblob/index.php?storyid $8787&t=3
You have to study the picture carefully
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HeyBub wrote:

Then there's this:
"Neighbors of sewage plant sue to block it" http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/01/31/concord.ART_ART_01-31-08_B1_UR97CJ3.html?sid 1
It's a jungle out there.
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I make sure the outside cap on my cleanout pipe is on loose. Hopefully in an emergency the cap will pop and sewage will go out on the lawn.
Normally you only have backflow preventors if your lowest drain is below the top of the manhole cover. I suggested to an engineer that they should be installed between floors in multistory houses. He thought it would be a good idea but a plumber thought it would make major cleanouts a PIA.

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I'd suggest at least three days of food and water for every person in the household and two weeks of pet food. One handgun with 250 rounds of ammo and a long gun with 100 rounds of ammo for that. Any medicines and the above along with extra clothing should be packed in bug out bags ready to grab in case of emergency

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

First priority is the gun and ammunition. With sufficient firepower, all the rest, including prescription drugs, fuel, boats, and even airplanes, are fairly easy to obtain.
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