Sewage Backup for Your Company: Things You Should Know

Every company has a certain level of risk. Businesses can face liability issues, people can get hurt on the job, or even natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes. One type of hazard is sewage backups, typically caused in places like basements and sewer systems. Sewage backups occur due to a malfunction of your sewer system. This article is going to discuss potential risks and solutions for your company.

Causes of Sewer Backups

1. Blockage

The most common cause of sewer backups is a blocked pipe. When this happens, the sewage backs up into not only your business but neighboring ones as well. This can cause a lot of work and money to be spent on cleaning. Sewer backups are caused due to blockages such as grease, paper, tree roots, and other common items that can accumulate in pipes or clog them. You will want to keep an eye on your system for possible blockages that lead to these inconveniences.

2. Loose Pipes

Your pipes should be securely attached to your sewer system. Loose pipes can lead to a lot of problems and expensive repairs. Loose pipes mean that they are not secured, and they will more than likely cause an accumulation of water if the sewer line is broken due to the weight pulling it down. It is important to have a professional check your system for loose pipe connections and make any necessary repairs immediately before serious issues arise from them being loose.

3. Water and Power Lines

Another cause of sewer backups is water and power lines that leak or break. These can be dangerous for your business. If you have a broken line, it can cause about $3000-$5000 worth of damage to your property and even more if sewage backup occurs from the broken line. Fixing a broken water line can take over $100,000 in damages and repairs and property loss if it occurs in your business building. If a sewage backup occurs from the broken power line, the damage can be even more severe.

4. Tree Roots

Tree roots can break through weak spots in the pipe, which can cause sewage backups in your business. Much damage can occur from this type of backup, causing a lot of work and money spent on repair. You will want to make sure that you check your system for any weak spots on the pipes and have them repaired as soon as possible before this happens to your business.

Sewage Backup Risks

The most common damages from a sewage backup are human health concerns. When sewage or even just water enters a building, it is likely there for a reason. The water may have caused mold problems, which can cause respiratory issues and other long-term health risks to employees. Additionally, stepping in sewer water can be dangerous as well. You and those around you could have contracted an infection due to the dirty water or even gotten skin or respiratory issues due to the bacteria that can cause these issues. Employees should always wash their hands after working in an area where sewage has been released.

The other type of risk that is primarily human is health insurance. The sewage can cause an injury, which will increase your health care cost and leave you without suitable insurance coverage for your employees. Human health risks also arise in workplace clean-ups, as employees may contract illnesses. If you have open-ended health coverage, this type of risk is covered by the insurance company, but if you have a more limited policy, the sewage could hurt your bottom line.

Businesses can also face potential issues with the EPA. A sewage backup can cause an air quality hazard that can be a big concern for your employees. Companies face safety issues due to the residual chemicals left from the sewage. The EPA has set guidelines on what chemicals should not be in sewage, which means you may have to pay fines and fees if you release chemicals into your sewer system.

Environmental risks are another major concern that can arise in your business. Wastewater can affect the environment in several ways. When wastewater is released into a sewer system, it can cause beneficial bacteria and algae growth problems. This can cause water quality issues, as these algae and bacteria can be harmful to your employees or even the environment.

Sewage backups can also cause a liability risk. If it is determined that sewage is released, then the insurance company will likely have to pay compensation to your business due to the damages caused by the sewage. If a toilet is damaged or destroyed due to a sewage backup, you may have to replace it. This may result in expensive repairs and losses in sales for your company.

Sewage Backup Solutions

Sewage backups are not something you can prevent, as a malfunction in your sewer system causes them. However, you can take certain steps to ensure less damage from the backup. For example, have regular maintenance done on the sewer lines to decrease the chances of backups? Businesses should also properly ventilate the areas where sewage backs up so that it does not affect the air quality for employees. Some experts provide services for handling sewage backups; you should contact one if you cannot handle the situation yourself.

If you do have a sewage backup, cleaning it up is crucial. Contaminated water can linger in your building and cause long-term problems if it is not cleaned up properly. It would be best if you used a professional to clean the area where sewage backup occurred so that employees will be safe when they return to their jobs.

Sewage, or any household hazardous waste, shouldn’t be handled by the owners. A sewage backup is considered a biohazard and should only be handled by professionals. Sewage cleanup services should also ensure that your building is safe for employees to return.

Bottom Line

Before you consider a proactive solution to your sewer backups, there are some things that you need to know about them. First of all, there are two types of sewer systems; private and public. These are typically different regarding where they are run and how their owners manage them. The city runs the public sewer system and is financed through sales tax revenue. Most cities will not allow private owners to run their sewage systems, as this can negatively affect the water quality in their city.

It is also important to know that regulations govern how you should handle a sewage backup. There are two ways to manage your sewer system; a permanent solution or a temporary one. A permanent solution will create a replacement pipe or manifold on each sewer line and will require more work on your part to install.



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A student, amateur photographer, and aspiring automotive journalist. Anything with an engine and wheels has piqued my interest for the longest time. It only makes sense that I share my passion with everyone else. Hope you enjoy my adventures in the automotive world and otherwise.

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