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-- Keeping in mind that ceramic plumbing fixtures such as toilets are fragile, quickly close all drain openings with stoppers or plugs. Tub, sink and floor drains may need additional weight to keep them sealed. A string mop can be used to help plug toilet openings.
-- Don't run any water down your drains until the blockage has been cleared.
-- A quick check with nearby neighbors will help determine if the backup appears to be in your wastewater service line or widespread in your neighborhood. If the backup is widespread, call the Utilities Maintenance division immediately at 816-439-4763.
-- Call a plumber if the problem is contained to your wastewater service line.
City personnel will check for blockages in the main line. If a blockage is found, it will be immediately cleared.
If the main line is not blocked, you will be advised to call a plumbing or sewer contractor to check your service line. Maintenance and repair of the service line is the owner's responsibility from the house to, and including, the connection to the city's main sewer. The main sewer is owned and maintained by the City of Liberty.
To minimize damage and negative health effects, you should arrange for cleanup of the property as soon as possible. There are qualified businesses that specialize in this type of cleanup if you'd prefer to not handle the cleanup yourself.
-- Never flush disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, flushable wipes (they're really not flushable) or paper towels down the toilet. They could stop up your drains and may damage your plumbing system.
-- If the lateral line in your older home has a jointed pipe system, consider whether the roots of large shrubs or trees near the line could invade and break pipes. It is a good idea to know the location of your lateral line(s). You can call the Utilities Maintenance division for assistance in locating where your service line connects to the city's sewer main. Your plumber may be able to help you further determine the location of your service line between your house and the city's sewer main.
-- If the lowest level of your home is below ground level, such as a basement floor drain, it may one day be affected by a backup. One way to prevent sewage backup through such below ground areas is to install a "back-flow valve" on the lowest drain(s). You can also use a plumber's test plug to close these drains when not in use.
-- For further information about preventive measures, contact the City of Liberty, a licensed plumber or plumbing supply dealer.
-- Sewer lines are specially designed to prevent accumulation and stoppages.
-- In addition, we have maintenance crews that are devoted to inspecting and cleaning wastewater lines throughout the city on a regular schedule.
-- Degreasing chemicals are sometimes injected into lines in areas that are prone to stoppages, such as those near restaurants, apartments or high-density housing developments.
-- Even with our maintenance schedule, however, backups are often beyond the city's control. Most that do occur are confined to the sewage pipeline, rather than backing up into a home.
As with the majority of municipalities in the country, the city cannot assume full financial responsibility for damages resulting from sewage backups, since most stoppages are related to conditions that are beyond the city’s control. That is why it is important that property owners confirm that they are adequately insured - particularly if areas of their home lie below ground level. Call your insurance agent today to have this coverage added to your policy.