Dried Autumn & Winter Leaves & Their Risk of Clogging Sewage Lines
The drying leaves in fall and winter can be very pleasing to the eyes. However, they can be equally or more unpleasant to the sewage lines of your home.
If dried leaves and branches are not disposed of properly, they can pose a heightened risk of clogging the sewage pipelines and causing various structural and health issues.
Here’s how the process takes place step-by-step:
What Happens to Unraked Leaves?
While fallen leaves in fall colors look beautiful in the yard and feel relaxing to step on, they are not the best form of decoration. Dead leaves and broken twigs can easily pile up throughout the colder months. The piled-up dead leaves and twigs not only look untidy and unkempt but can lead to several issues at your home.
The harsh fall and winter winds can blow these leaves and twigs and take them directly into the sewage line. However, the wind is not the only way for them to get into the sewage line.
Some people may deliberately try to dispose of fallen leaves and twigs down the drain. If you have ever done the same, you must know that it can block sewage lines.
Moreover, some others also like to play in piles of raked leaves. They rake their yards but leave the piles to play in it. Leaves and twigs can easily enter open sewage lines when someone jumps on them and sends them flying away.
Hence, fallen leaves and twigs should be regularly raked and collected in trash bags. If they are left in the yard, they can result in clogged sewage lines which can cause further damage. Here’s how:
How Can Clogged Sewage Lines Affect a Home?
Sewage pipes are narrow under a house. The size of these pipelines increases as they lead away from individual homes and buildings and get closer to the treatment plant. Under the ground, the sewage pipes from different plots are connected.
In simple words, it means that flushing down materials that are not supposed to be disposed of through sewage lines can cause issues at your home and your neighbors’.
Sewage lines are supposed to be replaced and maintained at regular intervals. Even if you have been properly maintaining your home’s sewage lines, your neighbors may not be doing it. This can be dangerous for two reasons:
Firstly, wind can carry fallen leaves and twigs to sewage pipes around the area. The fallen leaves from the tree in your front yard may enter sewage lines from wherever the wind blows them. If they entered sewage lines of a neighbor who hasn’t been maintaining their homes’ sewage lines, leaves and twigs can cause sewage line blockage and create a mess.
Secondly, as the sewage pipes are connected underground, materials may get blocked a little further from your home. While you may think it may not cause a big problem for you, the opposite is more likely.
Twigs and branches can especially get horizontally stuck between pipes as the pipes get bigger and can block the way for other incoming sewage material. They can also get stuck in another blockage already present in the sewage lines or into the air vents in the sewage lines. Leaves can also get stuck in and block the sewage line air vents.
The air vents in the sewage pipes are essential to keep a flow of air in the sewage pipes. They provide oxygen to the closed pipes that help bacteria break down many sewage materials. If the air vents get blocked, the bacteria present in the sewage pipes will not break down sewage material. This will cause the sewage material to pile up within the pipelines and add to the blockage.
Blockage in one sewage pipe easily leads to blockage in other pipes. The phenomenon can spread in no time and affect all homes and or buildings in the surrounding area. Besides this, leaves fallen in roadside sewage holes also affect the ventilation in sewage pipes and lead to the same consequences. If the blockage reaches your home, it will result in the following:
- Foul smell in the bathroom, kitchen sink, and other plumbing fixtures
- Overflow of sewage water from shower, sink, toilet, or other plumbing fixtures
- Clogged and useless plumbing fixtures
- Water seepage in foundation or basement of the house
- Burst sewage line around or near the house
What are the Health Risks of Clogged Sewage Line?
Cogged sewage lines not only adversely affect the function and quality of the plumbing fixtures at your home, but they can also bring several severe diseases to you and your family. Diarrhea, hepatitis, and gastroenteritis are some of the common diseases spread by overflowing sewage pipelines. If untreated, the toxic sewage material can also prove to be fatal.
Hence, it would be best if you kept your yard clean during the fall and winter seasons for your and your family’s safety. If the weather catches you off guard and you believe some dead leaves and twigs have entered sewage pipes, remove the sewage line blockage as soon as you can.
Contact a local restoration service for the job. Many restoration services, such as the 911 Restoration of Metro Detroit offer complete sewage cleanup services in emergencies.