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How Spring Can Cause Sewer Backup Problems

By 31 March 2020Winnipeg plumbers

Chances are pretty good that if you’re reading this, you live in or around Winnipeg. That being the case, you already know the chances of flooding skyrockets in the spring; we’re in a flood plain, after all. April deluges can cause more than floods – they can cause our municipal sewer systems to become overwhelmed, leading to serious consequences for homeowners who don’t have the right equipment installed. Let’s take a look at why:


There are a confluence of factors that can cause sewer backup in the springtime. First, consider the tonnes of snow that melt in the springtime. In best case scenarios, the snow melts gradually, never overwhelming the system. When the temperature climbs very rapidly, on the other hand, all that snow melts quickly, and the resulting water can cause problems.


In a gradual melt scenario, the ground has time to warm up as the snow melts. That means the icy layers of soil have time to thaw, and that water is absorbed by the soil. As snow continues to melt, if the ground is thawed, the resulting water can be absorbed as well. When the ground is still frozen as the snow melts, the water has nowhere to go but the sewer system.


Let’s imagine a worse case scenario. We get a lot of snow in the winter. It all starts melting rapidly, and the ground doesn’t have time to thaw. Then, just as you thought things couldn’t get any worse, it starts pouring rain. There’s still snow on the ground, and the ground hasn’t thawed, so that water has nowhere to go but the sewer system. You can understand how the system could quickly get overwhelmed!


When there is an excess of water, all kinds of bad things can happen. The pressure can cause the liquids in the sewer to go beyond where they should and can force liquids in directions they wouldn’t normally go in – namely, up towards your home. That’s when sewer backup occurs – there’s too much sewage, so it begins to flow back up. Basement flooding is not a pleasant experience; sewage backup is even worse!


Sewer backups are so problematic, in fact, that the City of Winnipeg has an entire page dedicated to helping you prevent them. Our advice? You’ll need a backwater valve, a sump pump, and a sump pit. Backwater valves stop sewage from backing up into your home. They need to be tested regularly, and homes built since 1979 are required to have them. Sump pumps and pits help prevent water from flooding your home, and homes built since 1990 are required to have them.


We install backwater valves, sump pits, and sump pumps, and we can test them to make sure they’re working properly. Give us a call before the first rain of the season to ensure that you’re protected. For Winnipeg sewer and drain, you can always trust the expert plumbers at Clean Line. 

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