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If a backup occurs, shut off any running water. Take immediate action to seal sink, tub, and floor drains. Toilets can be plugged with wads of rags or a string mop. Additional weight may be needed to hold down drain plugs.
Contact neighbors to help determine if the blockage is inside the building or on the sewer main. If the problem is affecting multiple buildings, immediately call the Salem Water Department at 540-375-3029.
If the issue appears to be affecting one building, contacting a licensed plumber is recommended. The building owner is responsible for maintenance and repair of the sewer lateral on the owner's private property, as well as cleanup.
Here are some of the actions you can take after a backup has occurred:
A sewer lateral pouring illicit FOG into a sanitary manhole. The shiny white is new grease. The yellow areas are from the buildup of old grease.
Help prevent overflows by doing the following:
If you see an overflow in progress, please contact us at 540-375-3029.
If you see evidence of a past overflow, such as toilet paper and sanitary waste around a manhole or storm drain outfall, please contact us at 540-375-3029 or use the report a problem form.