Water Pollution Control Division - Sanitary Sewer Blockages

What do I do if sewage backs up in my home?

If sewage backs up in a toilet or basement set tub, and you believe it is the result of a problem outside your house, call the Meriden Water Pollution Control Facility at 203.630.4261 between 7:00 a.m. and 3:25 p.m. weekdays, or the Meriden Police Department at 203.238.1911 after normal business hours and on weekends and holidays. DO NOT CALL 911. Do not call a plumber until you have first spoken to someone at the Meriden Water Pollution Control Facility.

Why should I call the Meriden Water Pollution Control Facility first?

The Meriden Water Pollution Control Facility will immediately send someone to your home to check the main sewer (the large pipe in the middle of the public street) for a blockage. If the main is blocked, the Meriden Water Pollution Control Facility will clear it at no expense to you. If you call a plumber before you call the Meriden Water Pollution Control Facility, the plumber’s fee will be your responsibility even if the blockage is in the main sewer.

Do backwater valves help prevent sewage from backing up into my basement?

Yes. While blockages are far less predictable than sewer surcharges, the end result is essentially the same--sewage in your basement. A backwater valve will prevent backups by allowing sewage to only flow in one direction (out of your home). Backwater valves are required by Code.

What if the cause of the backup is not in the main sewer?

If the cause of the backup is somewhere in the lateral line that runs from your house’s plumbing to the main sewer, it is the responsibility of the property owner to hire a licensed plumber, sewer cleaner, or drain layer to power rod the line to clear the blockage.

Is the cost of clearing a blockage in the lateral connection the homeowner’s responsibility?

It is the property owner’s responsibility - whether the blockage can be freed by power rodding or a repair is needed. If a repair to the house connection is necessary, the owner must hire a licensed contractor to perform the work, under permit from the Meriden Engineering Department. In short, any lateral problem that prevents the homeowner’s sanitary sewer flow from entering the public main line is the property owner’s responsibility, including problems related to the wye and or chimney. If the Homeowner’s lateral has a previous history of root problems, the Water Pollution Control Facility should be notified so we may televise the public main line.