If you are experiencing sewer backs ups and have become aware it is a result of your broken sewer, you are not alone! Most people question “why me” after becoming aware that their sewer is back pitched, cracked or broken for any reason. The average property owner fails to realize that sewers are replaced in NYC every single day.
The most common reason for a sewer replacement is from natural wear and tear. In this case it is most likely an old clay sewer that is more than fifty years old and is now required to be replaced with extra heavy cast iron pipe.
Another common occurrence includes the sewer line being back pitched or bellied. This means that the pipe is pitched in the wrong direction and as a result, the sewer continues to back up as it cannot flow on gravity. A belly is similar but is commonly one section of pipe that has a dip in one location. In this case the sewage is not flowing on gravity as it should and is also a common reason for sewage back ups.
The third most common reason for a sewer back up is a direct result of tree roots. You may not even have a tree in front of your house as you question, “how do I have roots in my sewer?” Most are not aware that below ground sewer roots will ground twice as far as the branches above ground. For example, if the tree branches have extended twenty five feet from the base of the tree, the roots below ground can grow more than 50′.
It is also important to understand that roots thrive in the conditions found inside a sewer pipe. It is these exact minerals that cause roots to thrive. Once the roots enter the pipe they will grow at a rapid pace.
Regardless of the reason for your sewer back up, the sewer repair process is the same. We are required to obtain all of the required permits, excavate the sidewalk or roadway and replace the existing pipe with extra heavy cast iron. All pipes installed below the public sidewalk and roadway are also required to be inspected by DEP.
If you have experienced a recent sewer back up it is a good idea to speak with a professional on why the sewer is backing up. It may be a simple clog that requires a snake to clear the pipe. You may have the beginning stages of a major problem, in this case it is best to get ahead of it and repair the sewer before it causes an all out failure.