Recently, the City of Broken Arrow Utilities released a handy pamphlet that encouraged residents to think more about their plumbing.
While you might not give a lot of thought to your home plumbing, here at Mullin Inc., we’re always staying up-to-date on changes in municipal code to help keep your home compliant. The recent announcement from the city noted that all new buildings must have a backwater device installed. Additionally, any buildings in which the lowest floor of the building is less than one foot above the upstream manhole rim also need a backwater device.
But What is a Backwater Device?
Your plumbing system is much more complicated than you might realize. Not just a series of tubes and pipes, your plumbing moves water in and out of your home. In some cases, water can flow back into your home through the pipes it’s supposed to drain out of. In these instances, you’re experiencing a backflow issue.
A backwater valve essentially acts as a one-way gate to prevent water from backing up into your home. The gate senses a reverse flow in the pipe it’s connected to and closes the line automatically. Once the pressure is released, and water is no longer try to flow back into your home, the gate reopens, and the regular flow of water is allowed to resume.
While every home needs a backwater valve device, you’re required to work with a licensed and professional plumbing service to have it installed in your home. This device is required by city code, but you’ll need to have the device installed at your expense.
Are You Doing Your Part to Prevent Sewer Backups?
Seemingly innocuous things can cause major sewer problems if you aren’t aware of them. Everyone in Broken Arrow needs to do their part in maintaining a strong and effective sewer system.
Backups can be caused when solids are washed down drains and are allowed to build up in the lines. Typically, food scraps, cooking grease and oils, hygiene products, and wipes are often the culprit for these backups. Water will naturally find an outlet when it reaches a blockage, and in many cases, your toilet, tub, or sink is the easiest place for it to back up into. We also see some backups when the city experiences heavy rainfall, and sewer lines cannot handle the unexpected excess of water.
Maintaining Your Backwater Device
Like all of the plumbing fixtures in your home, your backwater valve device needs its regular care and maintenance. We recommend that you have one of our plumbing technicians examine your backwater device at least once a year. During the inspection, they’ll make sure that there isn’t any debris blocking the movement of the gate and that the parts of the valve move freely. Typically, we replace the o-ring around the lid and inspect the floats on either side of the gate.
You can do your part in caring for your backwater valve by not flushing solids or grease down your drains.