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Old 04-12-2015, 12:45 PM
 
Location: North Jackson
1,867 posts, read 2,979,869 times
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Would someone mind providing a quick explanation of this "overhead sewer system," please? I'm having trouble understanding how it works, and what happens to the drains for any basement sink, washing machine, or toilet, if the sewer is overhead?

Why not just seal any floor drains to prevent sewer backup? I never understood the reason for those (floor drains) anyway...
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,520 posts, read 11,981,861 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacksonPanther View Post
Would someone mind providing a quick explanation of this "overhead sewer system," please? I'm having trouble understanding how it works, and what happens to the drains for any basement sink, washing machine, or toilet, if the sewer is overhead?

Why not just seal any floor drains to prevent sewer backup? I never understood the reason for those (floor drains) anyway...
The basement lines drain into a pit in the floor (looks kinda like a sump pit). An ejector pump pumps the water up into a pipe which travel up and across at basement ceiling level and then drops down to enter the sewer main. Because the high point is at basement ceiling height, sewer back flows don't enter the basement.

You can't seal the basement floor outflow pipe if you have a basement bathroom or sink. I suppose you could seal the floor drain.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:35 AM
 
11,972 posts, read 26,876,294 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
The basement lines drain into a pit in the floor (looks kinda like a sump pit). An ejector pump pumps the water up into a pipe which travel up and across at basement ceiling level and then drops down to enter the sewer main. Because the high point is at basement ceiling height, sewer back flows don't enter the basement.

You can't seal the basement floor outflow pipe if you have a basement bathroom or sink. I suppose you could seal the floor drain.
This is a good explanation. It is basically impossible to have a sewer backup in to your house with an overhead sewer system, unless that sewage is pumped in under intense pressure in some sort of freak scenario like an explosion. And then it would probably have to back up in to your ground floor drains. Not gonna happen under any storm or sewer backup scenario.

BUT, you could have a failure of your ejector pump in your basement. If you have a basement toilet and the pump fails, you could have a small spillage of stuff from the basement fixtures only once the ejector pit fills up. But this is a much smaller mess than having municipal sewage and water come in to the house from the public sewer. It's a risk I'll gladly take (but I don't have a toilet in my basement anyway).
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:04 PM
 
28,384 posts, read 68,028,377 times
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The hydrostatic pressure of some "combined system" sewers is terrifying - when you get billions of gallons of rainwater & sewage pressurized it can be a fountain of you know what that burbles 15 feet above a low foundation...
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:35 PM
 
11,972 posts, read 26,876,294 times
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Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
The hydrostatic pressure of some "combined system" sewers is terrifying - when you get billions of gallons of rainwater & sewage pressurized it can be a fountain of you know what that burbles 15 feet above a low foundation...
Have you ever heard of an instance of an overhead sewer blasting combined sewage back through the drains of a ground floor? I haven't, though maybe it's physically possible under super-extreme conditions?

I'm not going to worry about it, since I live up high and have separated storm and sanitary. Even though my neighborhood is old, some wise Glen Ellyn forefathers invested heavily in a 20th century sewer system at some point decades ago. Take that, Downers Grove!
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:47 PM
 
107 posts, read 175,755 times
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Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
Have you ever heard of an instance of an overhead sewer blasting combined sewage back through the drains of a ground floor? I haven't, though maybe it's physically possible under super-extreme conditions?

I'm not going to worry about it, since I live up high and have separated storm and sanitary. Even though my neighborhood is old, some wise Glen Ellyn forefathers invested heavily in a 20th century sewer system at some point decades ago. Take that, Downers Grove!
I just googled overhead sewer backup and didnt find anything saying anyone has had a sewer backup with overhead. The only thing you find is cities encouraging people to convert.

The water would just back up into the street. I guess if your house is in a very very low spot relative to the surroundings it is possible. The streets are much lower than the 1st levels of houses so the street would have to have at least 5 feet of water in my area.
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