Where can I get help?
- To report a sewer backup contact the RRWRD
Supporting Services Department, at 815-387-7600, 24 hours a day, 365
days a year.
Additional help is available if your
home is left unusable because a sewer back-up has resulted in damage to
the heating or water system, resulted in electricity being cut off, or
left your house in an unhealthy condition so you cannot live in it until
repairs are made.
The American Red Cross offers
assistance to persons who are left homeless because of fire, flood or
other problem with a dwelling. To initiate the process you must
first report the problem to the Rockford Human Services Department or
the Winnebago County Health Department. They, in turn, will contact
the Red Cross.
If you live in the City of Rockford, you may get
assistance and referrals to other agencies by calling the Human Services
Department at: 815-987-5782.
If a dwelling is
unsafe to live in, all residents of Winnebago County may call the
Winnebago County Department of Public Health at:
If you have homeowner's or
tenant's insurance you should immediately contact your insurance agent
to determine what damages are covered by your policy.
back-up insurance is available as a rider to your insurance policy.
Note: there is a difference between flood insurance and sewer
back-up insurance. Please check with your insurance agent.
Additional sewer-related problems should be
reported to the Rock River Water Reclamation District at:
For the numbers of cleaning
services that can help restore your property, look in the Yellow Pages
under Fire and Water Damage Restoration. District personnel cannot
recommend a specific service provider.
Flood recovery information
for "do-it-yourselfers" is available from the American Red Cross without
prior referrals from Human Services or the Health Department. Call
Click here to view the Official District Policy Regarding
Why did my sewer back
- Sewers back-up for two reasons; either the line is
blocked or more water is trying to flow into the main than it can
When the main cannot handle all of the water that is coming
into it, the water backs up to a higher level. Generally the water comes
up through floor drains, toilets and sinks in the lowest part of the
houses that are at the low end of the sewer main. See the diagram
- Blockages in sewer mains can happen because the
pipes become filled with debris, because tree roots grow into the pipes
and block the flow, and because large objects, such as tree branches and
rocks, are dumped into manholes.
Sewer blockages can result
from grease used for cooking, etc. for more information
on grease blocking sewers and how to prevent it
causes of over capacity flooding is the illegal connection of sump pumps
to the sewer lines. Just 10 sump pumps can overfill the average
residential sewer main during a storm.
Who's responsible for fixing
The Rock River Water Reclamation
District is responsible for the maintenance of the sewer mains that run
in the streets.
Individual property owners are responsible for
the maintenance of the lines running from houses to the sewer
Property owners also are responsible for any damage caused
by blockages of the lines running from the house to the street. The
District is responsible for problems in its lines only if the problem is
due to negligence on the Districts' part.
If the problem is in
the line from the house to the street, the District's policy is to try
to clear the problem if it can be done quickly. However, you might need
to hire a plumber to clear or repair your connector line if major work
Damage to your home from sewer back ups might be
covered by your homeowner or tenants' insurance. Check with your
agent. For more information on repairing your residential sewer
see the documents below:
It Is Your Decision: Do You Need
Sewer Repair Insurance?
is responsible for repairing your residential sewer
Bonded Service Cleaning
If you want to download the Free
Adobe Acrobat Reader click:
Will it happen to me
- Some areas are susceptible to flooding because they
are located at the low end of the sewer line, illegal connections
overfill the line, foreign materials block the line, or for other
reasons. There are some things you can do to prevent repeat flooding or
to minimize damage in case of a flood.
- Install one of several available back-up
prevention systems. Ask a plumber what would be best for your
- Store valuables at least high enough to be above
the water level of the last flood.
- In case of root problems in connecting sewer
lines, make arrangements for periodic cleaning.
- In certain cases you may be eligible to be
reimbursed by the District for the installation of a back flow
prevention device. This reimbursement must be approved by the
District in advance. For more
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Reclamation District. All rights