During periods of heavy rain or snowmelt, municipal drains can become overloaded. This excess water, which could include sanitary waste, then backs up into houses with low lying drain connections.
Combined Sewers: Problems also arise in systems that combine storm water and raw sewage into the same pipeline. During many rain storms, the systems are exposed to more volume than they can handle, and the result is a sewage backup situation that allows sewage to spew out into basements and other low lying drains.
Many homeowners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral - the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located in the street - and the building. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that extends into the street or public right of way.
A cracked or deteriorated lateral or one filled with tree roots can allow groundwater to seep into the system, contributing to the problem.
Sewer backups or the inability of sump pumps to handle runoff water from major downpours are not covered under a typical homeowners insurance policy, nor are they covered by flood insurance. Those types of coverage must be purchased either as a separate product or as an endorsement to a homeowners policy.
Click here to find out how the DryBasements.com Basement Isolation Program can protect your home.
Some cities and towns, including London and Stratford, have subsidies available to help homeowners prevent sewer backups... more info