Tree roots like these can clog a sewer line and cause a sewer back-up during heavy rains. Photo credit: Rob Amos

The heavy rain that’s expected to hit the area Wednesday could also cause big headaches for homeowners if sewer lines are not clear.

Rob Amos from T.C.M. Sewer and Drain in Sturtevant said there can be warning signs that a basement is on the verge of flooding.

“There could be a smell or the floor drain could gurgle,” he said. “Sometimes it’s silent and water begins to rise.”

When T.C.M. gets a call, the culprit is typically a blockage in the line leading from the house to the sewer main that runs underneath the road. Amos’ crews clear the blockage so water can flow freely again.

“Rain soaks into the ground and enters the sewer. If there is a blockage such as roots, the water can’t flow through to the municipal sewer so it flows back to the house and backs up through floor drain,” Amos explained. “By snaking out the main sewer to remove the blockage causing the back up, the water and sewage can then flow to the main sewer.”

Homeowners can take steps to make sure they aren’t victims of back-up caused by heavy rainfall by scheduling regular clearings. Amos does not recommend using root killing chemicals.