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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How a municipal sewage backup and overflow can impact residents in a community

12/12/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth examines local sewage backup and overflow issues and how they can cause sewage backups in the home.

At SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth, the team of IICRC-certified water damage restoration technicians is trained and experienced in cleaning up property damage disasters, including a sewage backup. The homeowner need not stress over the disruption in the home or the danger of contamination and disease from the spillage. The SERVPRO professionals have the equipment, cleaning techniques, and EPA-approved disinfecting, sanitizing, and deodorizing products to make the disaster area clean and safe.

Local sewage overflow issues: In the streets, in the waterways, and the home

Municipal sewage overflows present a serious challenge to residents in the metro Dallas/Fort Worth region of North Texas. According to a local news outlet, “In 2018, more than 119 million gallons of sewage overflowed onto the streets and lakes of Dallas-Fort Worth. That’s 119,090,756 gallons, to be exact, over more than 1,700 overflow incidents. Let’s break down those numbers a little bit further: 14 million. That’s the number of gallons of sewage that overflowed in the largest single incident last year (2018), which happened in Garland on Oct. 16 and flowed into Lake Ray Hubbard. It was also the single largest sewage overflow in the state last year. 112.8 million: Roughly the difference between the amount of overflow sewage in North Texas last year and the amount of overflow sewage in the Houston area. In fact, North Texas had five times the amount of sewage overflow than all other 15 regions in the state, combined.”

The following lakes and waterways in DFW experienced the most sewage overflow:

  • Lake Ray Hubbard (14,002,405 gallons)
  • Trinity River (10,217,500 gallons)
  • Red Oak Creek (7,677,000 gallons)
  • Sycamore Creek (7,237,800)
  • Mauk Branch Creek (7,119,765 gallons)

The following North Texas locations experienced the most gallons of sewage overflow:

  • Trinity River Authority Central Region Wastewater System (25,008,050)
  • Fort Worth’s Village Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant (19,685,106)
  • Garland’s Rowlett Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant (14,012,115)
  • Duncanville (13,559,310)
  • Red Oak Creek (8,629,743)
  • Plano (5,031,041)

The top five places on the above list were also the top five places with the most overflow in the entire state. Sewage overflow is a pressing issue with the aging and overtaxed wastewater treatment systems.

How a sewage overflow occurs

Below is an outline of how a sewage overflow happens.

#1: A toilet is flushed. The water and waste flow through underground sewer lines to a wastewater treatment plant.

#2: Waste, pathogens, and toxins are removed from the water at the waste treatment plant.

#3: The clean water is pumped into the public water system to be used for drinking water, bathing, washing dishes and clothes, and cooking.

#4: With age and usage, underground sewage lines develop cracks.

#5: Frequent and heavy downpours saturate the ground. The water seeps into the sewer lines through the cracks, filling the sewer lines to capacity.

#6: The rainwater and raw sewage in the sewer lines back up until they spew out of manholes.

The stress and anxiety of a sewage backup in the home

When the primary sewage system is filled to capacity due to excessive rainwater seeping through cracks in the sewer lines, homeowners should anticipate sewage backups and overflows in the home if the residence is connected to the public sewer system. The system simply cannot receive any more sewage, but the sewage must go somewhere. Look for sewage backups in tubs, showers, and floor drains in the laundry room and bathroom.

Avoid flushing any toilets. If the main sewer system is filled and spewing raw sewage into the streets, a flushed toilet can overflow, spilling raw sewage onto the bathroom floor. If the toilet is on the upper story of a home, the spillage can damage walls, ceilings, and any light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. The upstairs bathroom and the downstairs dining room can become a sewage backup and overflow disaster scene. The issue is not resolved by mopping up the liquid and any solids associated with the spill. Raw sewage is now hidden behind walls, trapped in the ceiling, dripping from light fixtures, puddling on the dining room table under the fixture, and soiling the carpet, rug, or flooring in the dining room.

The dynamics and dangers of a sewage backup in the home

A sewage backup is seldom anticipated and is often an unexpected messy surprise that disrupts the entire house. The stress of having the mess cleaned up and the home restored can be overwhelming. Before a sewage backup occurs, prequalify with SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth. Available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays, one phone call will have a team of property damage cleanup and restoration specialists arriving at the client’s home in about an hour. The rapid response and quick cleanup process are especially important in the event of a sewage backup and overflow and water damage.

Contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth to learn more about the company’s water damage restoration services. The office can be reached by calling (817) 741-5737 or emailing office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com.

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