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Emergency Sewer Backup

Prior to a Loss:

Most homeowners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their sewer service lines—that is, the pipelines between the District’s  sanitary sewer mains (which are usually located in the street) and the building.

Many sewer backups can be prevented with proper maintenance to the system. However, one of the most important tips we can provide is to have proper insurance to cover sewer back ups.

  • Many backups cause damage for which the District is not responsible.
  • Homeowners policies typically pay replacement cost.
  • Check with your agent or insurance company, as most policies do not automatically come with sewer line damage coverage.

Sewer Line Maintenance Tips:

  • Properly dispose of grease. Cooking oil should be poured into a heat-resistant container and disposed of properly after it cools off, not in the drain. Washing grease down the drain with hot water is unsatisfactory. As the grease cools off, it will solidify either in the drain, the property owner's line, or in the main sewer causing the line to constrict and eventually clog.
  • Properly dispose of paper products. Paper towels, disposable (and cloth) diapers, hygienic wipes and feminine products do not deteriorate quickly and can cause a great deal of trouble in the property owner's lateral as well as in the city main. Even those “flushable wipes” are not in fact flushable and can cause considerable damage to your system.
  • Periodically cut tree roots. Tree roots will always seek sources of water. The nature of your sewer main is a perfect source and roots will move towards them, even pushing through the clay pipe to reach the water. If you have continuing problems with tree roots in your lateral, you may have to regularly have the roots cut by a professional.
  • Correct illegal plumbing connections. Do not connect French drains, sump pumps and other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer. It is illegal to do so, and debris and silt will clog your line. Consult a plumber to correct any pre-existing illegal connections.
  • Install a backwater prevention valve, which is a fixture installed into a sewer line (and sometimes into a drain line) in the basement of your home or business to prevent sewer backflows. A properly installed and maintained backwater valve allows sewage to go out, but not to come back in. Be sure to use a qualified plumber.

In the Event of a Loss:

If your sewer line backs up into your home call Meeker Sanitation District at 970-878-5192 to report the incident. 

After a Loss:

What else should I do? What else do I need to know?

Call and report the incident to your homeowner’s insurance carrier, even if you do not believe the backup or release into your residence is your responsibility.

The District notifies its claims adjusting service, Sedgwick, and reports the claim. Sedgwick may contact you to request an inspection of your property. They may not be able to make a final decision regarding coverage until they complete an investigation. Remember to keep copies of receipts and invoices for out-of-pocket expenses. Your insurance carrier and/or Sedgwick may request those from you as a part of the investigation. Upon completion of the investigation, you will be notified of the cause of the incident and determination of liability. Under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act, Section 24-10-101 et seq., Colorado Revised Statutes the District is immune from liability unless negligence is proven.

It is unlawful to knowingly provide false, incomplete, or misleading facts or information to an insurance company for the purpose of defrauding or attempting to defraud the company. Penalties may include imprisonment, fines, denial of insurance, and civil damages. Any insurance company or agent of an insurance company who knowingly provides false, incomplete, or misleading facts or information to a policyholder or claimant for the purpose of defrauding or attempting to defraud the policyholder or claimant regarding a settlement or award payable from insurance proceeds shall be reported to the Colorado Division of Insurance within the department of regulatory agencies.