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Sewer Smart tips for protecting your home

Property owners have three effective strategies for preventing costly sewer backups into their homes or businesses.

Frequently asked questions about BPDs

How can I find out if I have a cleanout or a backflow prevention device (BPD)?

Look for a lid -- a round or square plate labeled "sewer" -- near the property, street or sidewalk in front of your home. In some cases, a cleanout may be located in the yard near the home or in the backyard, if the sewer main runs behind the house.

Open the lid and you will see the top of the pipe leading to the lateral. This pipe is sealed by a cap that screws in place. A backup prevention device is a cap for the lateral with a spring-loaded top that pops up to allow water and materials to escape. This is why they are often called "pop-up devices."

How can I get a backflow prevention device (BPD)?

A: Contact your public works department or sanitary district for advice and assistance, and to learn what device you should use in your community.

Or, contact one of the licensed plumbing contractors in your area for information about a professional assessment and installation of a BPD, if needed.