C-TIPPIT SEWERS,LLC.          773-646-5463 AND 219-865-0884

Basement Water

Basement Sewage Information

Having sewage back up into the home is an unpleasant and potentially unhealthy experience. The information contained here can help protect you from the hazards of raw sewage in your basement and give you practical methods for proper sanitation of your building should a back-up occur.

Sewers can back-up into your basement from several paths during storms and it is the property owner’s responsibility to protect the building. Open floor drains are the major culprit, as are basement plumbing fixtures (toilets, sinks, shower drains, etc.). If you live in the City of Rochester, where storm and sanitary sewers are combined, the Rochester Pure Waters District recommends that all potential avenues for sewage to back-up into your basement be eliminated. Floor drains are intended to allow water (from a broken water pipe, groundwater, etc.) out of your basement on (what should be) rare occasions. Otherwise, floor drains should always be capped off- C tippit Sewers LLC can help you. If you must have plumbing fixtures in your basement, C tippit Sewers LLC can install devices that may protect you from backups (check valves, etc.). Open floor drains and removing water out of your basement so your home is not at risk during storms. Roots growing inside the sewer line and blocking the pipe’s going into your home is the most common reason for sewer back-up not related to storms. Any internal plumbing problem, is the responsibility of the property owner—that’s when you need to call C tippit Sewers LLC.

In rare cases, the main sewer line can break, become blocked or be overwhelmed with storm water resulting in area-wide backups. Cook County maintains and repairs the public sewer system and the sanitary sewer system.

If your property has not been protected and you experience a sewer backup, a quick response will go a long way toward limiting the possibility of long term health effects and property damage. Call C tippit A.S.A.P. and we will be on site to help you get back to good flowing water in your home. Keep C tippit’s website info in a handy place for quick reference if you have a sewer problem. www.c-tippitsewers.com

Cleaning Up After Floods/Sewer Backups

Proper responses to sewer backups can greatly minimize negative health effects and property damage, destruction of your valuables and the risk of electrocution. Prompt cleanup of affected property can help minimize the inconvenience and damage. Most homeowner-type insurance policies DO NOT cover sewer backup damage. Ask your insurance agent for details on an inexpensive policy rider that can save you considerable expense and effort.

Health and Safety Issues

Please be aware of the risk of potential health and safety problems when addressing the cleanup of your home. Sewage and floodwaters can contain bacteria, fecal material, viruses and other hazardous microorganisms which can cause disease. These “germs” can be transmitted by touching contaminated items or by tracking them into uncontaminated areas on shoes. Children can be especially vulnerable. Odors from sewage backups are unpleasant but not harmful. The speedy removal and cleanup of sewer water is very important and necessary.

To protect yourself and your family during cleanup, please follow these guidelines:

  • To reduce the danger of electrocution, do not enter your basement if it is flooded in till you know it’s safe.
  • Avoid skin contact with sewer water, especially open cuts and sores. If you should suffer a cut while working in flood or sewer water, contact your physician.
  • Do not allow children to play in areas contaminated by sewage backup.
  • Do not eat or drink anything exposed to sewer water.
  • Keep contaminated objects, water, and hands away from face (mucous membranes).
  • Wash hands frequently, especially after bathroom use, before eating, and immediately following contact with sewer water or contaminated objects/surfaces.

Here are some important things you can do to reduce basement flooding and its risks:

  • Never dump anything into street sewers. Leaves, grass clippings, motor oil and other items keep sewers from flowing and pose a hazard to people working in the sewers.
  • Make sure that the catch basins on your street are not covered by trash, leaves, paper, or other items. Blocked catch basins can cause street flooding.
  • Clean your private drain system regularly. Also have them inspected annually.
  • Disconnect sump pumps/downspouts from sanitary sewers.
  • Consider having an appropriate basement flood prevention device installed on your property. These may include:
    • A simple hand operated gate valve
    • An automatic check valve
    • A standpipe
    • A metal or plastic plug for the floor drain.

Most of these devices require the use of a licensed, professional plumbing contractor. Before having any work done on your plumbing system, get at least two estimates from different contractors.

Sewer Terminology

Very few people understand the terminology associated with the sewer system. This sidebar gives you a quick guide to sewer vocabulary that will help you understand sewer back-ups.

Sanitary Sewer – the pipes that handle wastewater from toilets, sinks, showers, etc. – this waste eventually ends up at a wastewater treatment plant where it is cleaned before being discharged into the environment.

Storm Sewer – the pipes that handle stormwater (usually from catch basins in the street) which run to streams, ponds, rivers, lakes, etc. without being cleaned.

Combined Sewer – in older cities (like Rochester) storm and sanitary sewers are “combined” and all the water is cleaned at a wastewater treatment facility. Because stormwater can overload the sewers, this is not the best way to treat wastewater. It would, however, cost taxpayers billions of dollars to dig up city sewers and separate them.

Main Sewer – the sewer pipe in the street, generally a municipal responsibility.

Building Lateral – the pipe that carries sewage to the main sewer in the street. This entire pipe (along with all the plumbing within the building) is the responsibility of the building owner.

Lot Line Cleanout (LLCO) – some properties have an access pipe installed down to the building lateral (generally located on the property side of the sidewalk) that allows the municipality to maintain/repair the building lateral out to the main sewer (the actual LLCO pipe—and locating it for municipal service—is the building owner’s responsibility).


  1. Do I really need the skills of a plumber to come to my home to fix a leaky faucet or clear a clogged drain?
  2. Why does my drain get clogged?
  3. Is it bad to use a drain clearing liquid like Liquid Plumber®?
  4. What happens when roots get inside my sewer lines?
  5. How can I be sure my sewer lines are in good condition and properly maintained?
  6. What should I avoid flushing down the toilet to prevent stoppage?7) How long does a water heater last?
  7. My water heater sounds like a bubbling hot tub? Is there something wrong with it?
  8. What happens if my water heater is leaking?
  9. How long should my sump pump last?
  10. What is the difference in sump pumps and which is the best?
  11. What is the most common cause of sump pump failure?
  12. What else can cause sump pump failure?
  13. Is it a big deal if my toilet is running?
  14. What form of payment do you accept?
  15. What are your payment terms?
  16. Do you have flyers to give me?
  17. Why would I call you and not one of the other 100 Sewer companies on the internet?