The Backwater Valve Program separates the inflow and infiltration from your homes footing and foundation drains and roof leader connections to the sanitary sewer system.  The sanitary sewer system is designed to handle sanitary waste only.  By removing outside water sources from the sewer system, the potential of surcharging is reduced considerably during wet weather events.  The removal of these connections is paramount to the reduction of surcharging and flooding events for the future. 

If you experience basement flooding during wet weather events, you may qualify for the MDC Backwater Valve Program.  A plumbing survey of your internal drain piping in the basement will be conducted by our inspection team to determine if qualified. 

Please contact the MDC Utility Services Department to schedule a free assessment of your property and to learn more about this program at (860) 278-7850, ext. 3123.

Sewer Backup Prevention & Reporting Programs Brochure (English)
Sewer Backup Prevention & Reporting Programs Brochure (Spanish)
Backwater Valve General Maintenance Guide

Backwater Valve Video

How to Help Prevent Sewer Surcharging Due to a Wet Weather Related Event

When heavy rains, continuous wet weather, sudden thunder storms or tropical downpours occur, the sewer system may become surcharged.  Surcharging is the overfilling or overloading of the designed pipe capacity.  The overloading of the pipe causes the incoming flow to slowly flow into its intended pipe thus causing the proverbial “traffic jam” of flow. 

The causes of the surcharging are attributed to several factors such as foundation and footing drains of homes directly connected to the sewer system causing a constant flow. Roof leaders and gutters are also directly connected to the sewer system allowing rain water from outside of the home to inside of the basement floor. 

These types of connections cause the normal dry day sewage flows of about 60 million gallons per day into the Water Pollution Control Plants to skyrocket to more than 160 million gallons per day when rainy weather conditions prevail.  This inflow is the leading contributor to the surcharging in the main sewer and root cause of home flooding. 

The solution to reduce and thus eliminate sewer surcharging is the removal of ground water and wet weather water from the sanitary sewer system altogether.  The disconnection of the current back water valve device which is installed in many older model homes and the installation of a sump pump is the long term solution to the removal of ground water from the sewer system.

This allows MDC to only treat actual sewer flow and reduce the costs associated with treating sewage and allowing storm water to safely flow into the streams, ponds and rivers it was intended to. 

The disconnection of the Back Water Valve (a device that allows inflow freely from footing, foundation and roof leader drains to pour into the sewer system while protecting the foundation and footing drains themselves with a backflow flapper) is part one of the solution to preventing surcharging and flooding of basements.  When there is surcharging, the flapper closes to protect the footing and foundation drains from the sewage backups into these drains.  The inflow is continuous but has nowhere to go but onto the basement floor until the surcharging event is over and the main sewer flows subside and flow is then able to travel into the sewer system draining the basement floor. 

Sump pumps are used to remove ground water that is in and around the foundation and discharge that ground water safely to vegetation, waterways or a storm piping system.  

The installation of the sump pump coupled with elimination the back water valve device removes from the sewer system the inflow and Infiltration from ground water sources and puts it into other environmentally safe areas. 

The Back Water Valve Disconnect Program may be applicable to your current plumbing conditions.  To be eligible for the program, an initial plumbing survey of your basement area is conducted along with a review of the main sewer piping that currently serves your drainage area.  If your property meets the requirements for the BVW Disconnect Program you may be eligible for MDC to complete the work under the program guidelines at no cost to you.