JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- After all the flooding of the last few months, some residents experienced sewer backup. Disaster officials overseeing state-federal recovery efforts suggest homeowners in flood-prone areas consider taking practical steps to lessen this type of damage in the future.?
"Whenever possible, we encourage home and business owners to repair or rebuild with disaster prevention in mind," said Mike Karl, FEMA's federal coordinating officer.
Flooding can cause sewer lines to back up into houses, causing damage that is difficult to clean up as well as a health hazard. Installing a backflow valve to the drainpipe can prevent this from happening. These backflow valves are available in a variety of designs that range from the simple to the complex.
Among the simpler devices are "flap" or "check" valves that open to allow sewerage to flow out of the house, but close when the flow reverses. These valves operate automatically regardless of whether the homeowner is present during the flood. The down side is they are not as strong as some other valves.
For more information on which valve may be appropriate for your home, consult with a licensed plumber or contractor who will ensure that the work is done correctly and according to applicable codes. Valves may be needed on washing machine drain lines, laundry sinks, fuel oil lines, rain downspouts and sump pumps as well as sewer and septic connections.
State Coordinating Officer Ronald Reynolds recommended checking with local building code enforcement officials. "They can give you practical advice on reducing future damages," he said. "Many homeowners have successfully prevented mold, mildew, flooded basements and water damage to heating system and appliances by keeping floodwaters and sewage out. Backflow prevention valves are one simple way to mitigate these potential problems."
For more information, visit the following web site: www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=3262
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.