The water coming up through floor drains or sink drains in the basement can be a telltale sign that you have an issue with your municipal sanitary sewer system.

During heavy rains, combined sewers may become overwhelmed and overflow which could cause sewage backwash into homes - it's important for homeowners not only to know about this situation but also to take precautions before they occur to avoid potential damage and health hazards.

So, what can you do about this problem?

Why Is My Basement Drain Backing Up When It Rains?

Communities throughout Georgia and the world have a sewer system that manages the flow of water and sewage from each home in the community. In other words, all the homes are eventually connected to a main sewer line within that community.

During times of heavy rain, these sewer systems run at 100% capacity and if the rainwater is excessive, it can overwhelm the system. They simply are not capable of evacuating such a large volume of water so - the excess water spills back into the homes within the community. This is known as a "sewer surcharge" and it can damage your property.

How Do I Stop Water From Coming Through My Basement Floor Drain?

There's a few things that a homeowner can do to help prevent damage to their property from a sewer surcharge. Here are some recommendations.

Sump Pump

Sump pumps are very common here in Georgia. They are a small piece of machinery, about 2 feet tall and less than that in width. They are installed in a pit in basements and crawlspaces - wherever the lowest part of the home is. Their purpose is to pump out any excess water that comes in contact with it.

So, if your basement drain begins to expel water, that water eventually reaches the sump pump. The pump then begins to work when it detects water under the floor surface. The water flows into the pit which then triggers the sump pump to turn on and it's job then is to re-direct the water away from the building.

You can learn more about sump pumps here in our article Do I Need A Sump Pump?

Stand Pipe

Some homeowners opt for a stand pipe, which is basically a large pipe installed in the floor which connects to other pipes leading any excess water away from the property. Think of this is a cheap sump pump. It's basically another drain in your basement or crawlspace.

We recommend that you speak to your plumber about the advantages and disadvantages of this option.

Automatic Backwater Valve

This is an expensive option but one that may work for your situation. This is basically a check valve that is installed on the main sewer line by your home. It works by closing the valve when water starts backing up into the sewer line.

The problem though with this option is that no one in the home can use the facilities while this valve is closed. Otherwise you can end up with a very messy and serious sewer backup situation.

Again, we recommend that you speak with your plumber about this possible option.

If you have any questions about your basement drain or are having some problems with it, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.