Sewer Backups & Overflows

Sewer Backup

A sanitary sewer backup happens when wastewater cannot exit the lateral and "backs up" into drain lines until it finds an exit. One example of a backup would be laundry suds coming up through a basement floor drain after a washing machine exceeds the capacity of a partially-clogged lateral. A sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) happens when wastewater is discharged into the environment. One example of an SSO would be wastewater coming up through a manhole. Salem occasionally experiences this kind of SSO during wet weather due to inflow and infiltration. As a result, Salem is under a Consent Order and has a corrective action plan.