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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Homes Have Sewage Backup Issues

It`s a smelly situation for many homeowners in the Minot area. One homeowner by Longfellow School had their drains back up and cause thousands of dollars in damage.

Sewage backup is becoming a common problem in Minot.

"Definitely. Actually the homeowner was saying that it`s happening pretty much one house per block is having a sewer back up," said Technician Clean tech Spencer Lindahl.

But this problem never used to be so common.

Lindahl said: "I never had something like this. I mean, you hear of it like hurricane Katrina was definitely a big issue like this, with the water table being so high, but nothing in the north like here."

Lindahl says it`s not the flood waters that caused the sewage back up, it`s the high water table.

The homeowner went on vacation and did not plug their drains. When they came home, they found a mess. Lindahl says homeowners should be plugging their drains. It`s not worth the risk.

"No I don`t. Because you could be running into thousands of dollars of damage if you don`t take the precautions," said Lindahl.

River water or sewage backup all falls under a Category 3. This means any of this water could be carrying bacteria or born pathogens. If this water touches drywall or insulation, it needs to go.

"Even if you maybe clean the surface, especially dry wall, and paneling, if you clean the surface, you have no idea what could be inside," said Lindahl.

With the record flooding in the area, crews say they`ll be working at this for many weeks, even months.

Lindahl said: "Once the evacuation zones get cleared or things like that, we`ll start working more and more. Right now, we are still working a lot, but we`re definitely seeing that we are going to have a huge increase,"

Lindahl says it could be weeks before homeowners see how much damage is has been done to their homes. Some may be salvageable, and some may not.

"Say this is what`s going to happen, give them a dollar amount, and the insurance says not worth it, and the homeowner says, not worth it, then it is," he said. "But if the homeowner says it`s worth it, and insurance says it`s worth it, then we`ll go to work.

Things that can be saved are items that are porcelain or ceramic, such as toilets and tubs.

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