what do you know about overhead sewers

thinktoomuchSeptember 19, 2008

I am in a suburb of Chicago, we just got 8" of sewer back up and seepage too, everyone around here did. To fix the problem, the contractor says I need drain tiles around the perimeter and a sump and also overhead sewers, so that the city sewers cannot back up. The overhead sewers are $10,000, he said that with overhead sewers it is impossible to back up, I was wondering how true this is. Thanks.

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I'm in Chicago area too but FAR NW. We only had 4.5" of rain but know someone in Hammond who has a basement filled and 3 feet on the first floor. Still not allowed into their home.

Your plumber is correct that overhead sewers are a solution. Or a lift station.

Water seeks its' own level and overhead sewers in effect raise the water table. To function correctly the plumbing must be water tight all the way from your home to the city sewer. A pump lifts water from the basement into the overhead sewer. A separate sump pump collects foundation water and ejects it outdoors above grade onto the lawn.

I lived in Mt. Prospect many years ago and had water in our basement. Unusual house, and I solved the problem with a lift station. Basically the sewer line from the house was intercepted (outside, but underground) with a large tank that contained a pump. All household waste was pumped from the tank into the sewer. A backflow check valve prevented the sewer from filling the tank.

Contact me off-line via "My Page" and tell me more about your location and problem. If I can supply info, I will.

Good Luck - been there, know the feeling.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 3:44PM
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I don't think I buy this. Your sewers run downhill already because sewage systems rely on gravity. Raising the pipes 8' or 10' is not going to make much difference if there is pressure on the line. A check valve will stop all incoming and would be a good idea if its legal.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 11:33PM
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You're correct, sewers do rely on gravity. But the only pressure is the height of the water, not like water pressure from a faucet (which is caused by a much higher "water table" created by a water tower).

If the sewer line is below a basement floor, by making a new water tight connection and elevating a new sewer line to the ceiling of the basement, the flood level is raised. All household drains are then re-routed through the new "raised" sewer. Anything from the basement must be pumped up and into the new line.

That's how they work and a raised sewer will keep a basement dry unless the entire water table height exceeds the raised sewer line.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 9:06AM
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I get your point. We've never had drains in the basement. The main pipe going out is in the middle of the basement wall and raising it wouldn't make any difference because all the fixtures will stay the same, above the sewer line.

We had some leakage in the basement due to water trapped in the flowerbeds. They are bordered with landscape timbers and held the water pretty good. I laid a piece of plastic on the beds and stopped all leaks.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 11:35PM
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