Having your pipes drain slowly is always a nuisance, but if it's happening in your home or business following a major storm, the culprit could be beyond your home. In many instances following large storms, pipe drainage can be slowed due to debris in a sewer line. Read on to learn how this happens, how to tell if it's happening to you, and how to fix the problem.
How Storms Pose a Problem
Major storms flood sewers with rainwater and local debris, like garbage that's been dropped on the ground instead of responsibly into a garbage can. However, that's far from the only thing that can potentially slow down your drains.
In recent massive storms, huge amounts of debris have been swept out to sea following the bad weather. Massive logs swept up on a California beach following one of its recent storms, flushed out by the rain and mudslides. While an entire log is unlikely to block your sewer line, driftwood and branches easily can, especially if you live in or near an area that's been drought-stricken or suffered a fire prior to the major storms.
Determining If You Have Debris
Thankfully, figuring out if you have debris blocking your sewer line is easy. All you need to do is to rent a sewer line camera or call a professional to use one on your line. Sewer line cameras snake through the sewers, either from your home or business or from the local access out on the street, depending on your needs. The camera relays the information of what it's seeing back to a monitor in real-time, allowing you and your plumber to witness whether or not there are any blockages along the way.
Solving the Problem
If it turns out that there's a blockage in the sewer line, a certified professional plumber will be able to clear the waste out and get your pipes running readily again. Better yet, if the waste is beyond your property and is stuck in the sewer line out on the street, chances are your city will be the one who has the take responsibility for the problem and handle the bill, too. If it is on your land, consult with your insurance company to determine if it covers problems with your pipes.
Sewer lines are an effective way of transferring waste and water from homes, businesses, and even the street into wastewater filtering plants. However, sewer lines aren't designed to deal with massive quantities of debris. If your pipes won't drain after a storm, call a plumber to have your sewer line examined.