Sacramento’s location on a natural floodplain increases the chance of home flooding for residents in the area. Luckily, the city has used innovation to help alleviate stress on the waterways and sewer systems. This design incorporates a complex system of levees and diversion systems to prevent sewage back flow and guard against flooding of rivers and streams in the area. Still, there is a 26 percent of home flooding over a 30 year period for residents in the area.
Protect Against Flooding
To protect against home flooding, it is vital for homeowners in the area to install flood control mechanisms such as sump pumps and overhead sewer systems for the basement. Flood insurance is also a good idea, and it may even be required by some home associations.
In older homes, it is common for the sewage to exit under the lowest floor of the home such as a basement. The problem with this design during flooding is that flood waters will choose the point of least resistance. If the sewer system’s main line becomes full and cannot discharge water and waster properly, it can back up into these low points of entry.
Overhead Sewer System
An overhead sewer system is designed to run through a foundation wall above the basement level, which puts the lowest opening of the sewer system above the high water line of the sewage main. Since the sewage would have to travel upwards before entering the home, this system makes sewage back flow very unlikely. Instead, the sewage would continue to seek out the point of least resistance.
Homes that use this system need to have an ejector pump for any facilities located in the basement, including a laundry machine. The ejector pump, which is capable of handling solid waste, is designed to push the waste upward into the overhead sewer system.
A sump pump is designed to handle any ground water that enters the basement area to prevent flooding. This system propels the water out of the basement and into a safe location away from the home’s foundation. Since Sacramento depends on a combined sewer system, it is best if homeowners design their sump pump to discharge into a rain garden or other safe collection area. This can relieve some of the stress on the combined sewer system.
The Sacramento County Stormwater Quality Program and the Sacramento County Water Agency often offer residents financial assistance/rebates for different water conservation initiatives. You can learn more about them here.
In the event that storm water does back up into a resident’s home. It is recommended that the home owner seek professional clean-up services as the storm-water can be contaminated with human waste products and dangerous bacteria. Have questions about sewer systems for your home? Contact our professional Sacramento plumbers today!