Young woman covering her nose due to a bad smell caused by a sewer system backup in her home

Sewer System Backup: Why It Happens & How to Remedy It

There is nothing more alarming and inconvenient than having a sewer system backup at home. Not only does it smell unpleasant, but it also makes your house gross and unhygienic. The chances are that you will start to smell foul odours in your basement, notice slow shower draining, hear irregular sounds from your toilet, or see sewage emerging from your bathtub.

If you notice one or some of these signs, you must immediately contact our emergency plumbers at Bromac. We’ll provide you with a transparent assessment and quote for remediating the issue.

But in this article, we will share why a sewer system backup occurs and what you can do to prevent it.

Why a sewer backup occurs

A sewer system is where wastewater from houses gets disposed of and properly drained. They are usually installed in homes in various cities or towns and maintained by the local public work department. Generally, they consist of underground pipes designed to transport sewage from houses to proper disposal areas.

Typically, a sewer system backup occurs when the sewage from outside sewer sanitary lines doesn’t get properly drained away from the house. Instead, it “backs up” into your house via the drain pipes. This is why you will see wastewater or sewage flooding your basement, lingering in your house drains, and not flushing down your toilet properly.

What causes a sewer backup

Here are a handful of reasons you have a sewer system backup:

  • Tree roots: You may have surrounding trees around your sewer system. The roots may have grown close to your pipes and caused some damages to them. These roots may have also obstructed those lines from running through properly.
  • Improper disposal of wastes: If you and your family usually pour anything into your drains or flush anything down your toilet, you’ll have clogged pipes over time. This is when you’ll frequently experience wastewater backup.

What you can do to prevent a sewer backup

While some of the causes may not be under your control, here are a few things you can do to prevent a sewer backup:

  • Have proper disposal of wastes.
    • For toilet: Only three Ps are allowed to be flushed down—pee, poo, and (toilet) paper.
    • For shower drains: Be wary of hair strands, soap buildup, sachet, and other debris.
  • Know where your sewer system is located, and be sure not to grow trees around it.
  • Be prepared for heavy rainfall by installing a sump pump and resorting to other preventative measures.
  • Have a regular inspection, cleaning, and maintenance of your sewer system.


At this point, you now know why a sewer system backup occurs and what you can do to prevent this from happening. To that end, be sure to consider all the valuable tips discussed above and work with a highly reliable plumber who can fix this backup issue and ensure it won’t happen again!

Here at Bromac, we provide emergency plumbing services for sewer system backups in Abbotsford, BC, apart from heating and air conditioning services. If you are confronted with a sewer system backup problem, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

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