What do I do if my sewer backs up?
Call the Sewer District at 573-443-2774. The District provides emergency service 24 hours a day, seven days a week at no extra charge. We will check to see if there is a problem in the part of the system the Sewer District maintains that may be affecting your private system.

Emergency Procedures To Follow After A Sewer Back-Up
After a sewer back-up, it is very important to follow emergency procedures quickly to minimize health hazards and property loss. Generally, if the homeowner takes proper emergency action immediately, a sewer back-up will result in either no damage or minimum damage.

After a sewer back-up, it is very important to follow emergency procedures quickly to minimize subsequent health hazards and property loss.
Unlike fire and other losses, water losses may not start out severe, but may end up causing damage because of delay of cleaning up the water or sewage. Generally, by taking proper emergency action immediately, a sewer back-up will result in either no damage or minimum damage caused by the water.
The resident has the duty to minimize damage.

1) Remove all water and sewage from the basement or other affected areas immediately.

2) Remove all wet rugs, clothes, boxes, and other items from the affected area. Clean all rugs, clothing, and other washable items immediately.

3) If carpet is affected, call a professional carpet cleaning service immediately to extract the water from the carpet, and then clean and deodorize the carpet.

4) If the water was high enough to involve a motor on a furnace, or electrical appliance, call a reputable repair business to remove the motor and dry it. In most cases a motor can be dried without incurring any damage.

5) Wash all concrete or tile floors with fresh water, then wash them with a strong germ-killing and odor-killing solution.

6) Take all items that have finely machined parts such as sewing machines and typewriters, to a repair facility immediately for cleaning and oiling.

7) Remove and dry all items stored in wet cardboard boxes. Throw away the wet boxes.

8) Thoroughly dry all wood furniture and other wooden items then wipe them with an oil-base wood polish.

9) Remove all wet paper items from the affected area and store them outside or throw them away, depending on their value.

10) Ventilate the affected area with the use of floor fans, and a dehumidifier if available, to properly dry the area. You can rent floor fans and dehumidifiers locally.

11) Other than paper products, there are very few items that are damaged by water unless allowed to sit in that wet condition. Water will not hurt metal or wood if thoroughly dried and wiped down with some form of oil. Clothing and carpet not cleaned and dried will mildew and stain. Motors and machine parts can be saved if thoroughly dried by a professional. Floor tile and carpeting will remain secure if the water is removed immediately, otherwise, the water will dissolve the adhesives used in securing the floor tile or carpet to the floor. Wood furniture, wood paneling, and other wooden objects will spot, separate, stain or warp if left wet.

For additional information about this back-up call Boone County Regional Sewer District’s Operation’s Superintendent at (573)-443-2774.

Prevent Sewer Blockages
There are several ways you can reduce the likelihood of stoppages in your private sewer lines and your neighborhood’s main lines. Most sewer line obstructions are caused by grease, tree roots and debris. The simplest way to prevent these materials from blocking your lines is to keep them out of your lines.

Your Private Lines and Tap Connection are Your Responsibility
Upkeep and maintenance of individual service lines from the home up to and including the service line connection to the main line and the tap connection are the responsibility of each property owner. Grease buildup, roots, broken pipes, cracked pipes, deteriorating clay pipe, and bad service line connections to the main line can all cause a sewer backup.

Service line maintenance and upkeep are vital in avoiding sewer backups caused by these circumstances. The District strongly encourages property owners to investigate the condition of their private lines and protect their property against potential sewer backup occurrences.

Repair of Faulty Tap Connections
The line that connects a home or business to the main line and the point of connection (the tap) to the main line are the private part of the sewer system and therefore the responsibility of the owner of the property. Tap connections as well as any place where there is a seam between two pipes are prone to root infiltration.

Roots begin as tiny hair like strands that creep into pipe seams in their search for moisture.  As they grow they can cause two problems for sanitary sewer systems. First the roots can form a mass that obstructs the private and/or main line and cause sewage to back up into your home or your neighbor’s home.  Second, as the roots expand and become bigger they create larger gaps in the seams that allow ground and storm water to enter the sewer system. The addition of storm water in a sewer system can over load the pipes and treatment/reclamation facilities and cause overflows.

Taps with root invasion are usually found in older neighborhoods where the system is made of clay pipe rather than the plastic pipe that is available today. If you live in an older neighborhood and the system was built with clay pipe, you may receive a letter sometime in the future after the District has performed a TV inspection of the public sewer line that serves your property. The letter will notify you that a faulty tap connection is against District regulations and must be fixed.

If you are having problems with your private lines and your plumber believes the problem may be in the tap, the sewer district will inspect your tap upon request. Although many plumbers have TV inspection equipment for small diameter pipes, this equipment is not able to get a good picture of the tap connection. Cameras for small diameter pipes do not scan and pivot and are not able to turn and look at the condition of the tap connection. The sewer district will look at your tap from within the main line and let you know if you need to replace it.

When you are looking for property to purchase especially in an older neighborhood, you may want to include a TV inspection of the sewer line as part of the home or business inspection. Contact the sewer provider to see if it has inspected the tap connection for that address and ask them to check their records for any problems, back-ups and/or repairs.

Illegal Plumbing Connections
DO NOT connect french drains, sump pumps, gutters and other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer.  It is illegal, and debris and silt will clog your line.  Consult a plumber to correct any illegal connections.


Dig Safely
Spring weather inspires outdoor projects like installing swimming pools, putting up fences, planting trees and repairing sewer lines. Underground utilities exist everywhere, even in your yard. Digging without knowing where it’s safe to dig can cause tremendous damage and even loss of life. Contact MO One Call before you dig, at 1-800-DIG-RITE. They will contact underground utilities in your area. The utilities will mark where their underground lines are located on your lot, and you can dig safely and avoid harm to you or your property.