Why do sewer lines back up?
Two of the leading causes of blockages and backups are grease and tree roots. Tree roots grow naturally and intrude into the town’s sewer lines. While the town cannot prevent tree root expansion, the Water and Sewer Maintenance Section does use preventative measures to inhibit tree root growth and remove tree roots from its sewer lines.

Fats, oils and grease (FOG) are a major contributor to sewer backups and overflows, as well. The town requires commercial users discharging wastewater into the sanitary sewer system to install and maintain a grease trap or grease interceptor. Residential users should never discard FOG into a drain.


Many things (sticks, rocks, bricks, pieces of broken pipe, rags, grease, paper towels, newspaper, sanitary napkins, plastics, etc.) may become lodged in a sewer line and result in a backup. While it is illegal for persons to place or discharge such things into the sewer system, these items still unfortunately appear.

Show All Answers

1. How do I file a claim for monetary damages against the town?
2. What happens to the claim after it is filed?
3. What if I want to file a complaint against another department?
4. Why do sewer lines back up?
5. Sewage is backing up into my house through overflowing toilets, sinks, bathtubs, dishwasher, and/ or washing machines. What should I do?
6. Can anything be done to prevent sewer back-ups?
7. I have slow drainage through my toilets, showers, and sinks. What can I do about it?
8. A contractor or utility broke my sewer lateral. What should I do?
9. What can I do about terrible sewer odors?