Sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) happen for various reasons, most commonly because of sewer lines being cut during construction activities and heavy rain infiltrating the system.
BCSS is continually updating vulnerable areas of main sewer lines, lift stations, and other parts of our system to prevent SSOs.
There are also some ways that property owners can help to prevent sewer spills, such as:
• Don’t plant trees close to the sewer lateral (service line). Tree roots seek out water and can find even small cracks in the line. They can grow quickly, resulting in sluggish pipes or a blockage.
• Never put inappropriate items, like grease, wipes, and feminine products in your drains. These can cause blockages that can result in sewer overflows.
• Keep stormwater out of the sanitary sewer line by replacing missing or broken cleanout caps. These caps cover your sewer lateral and flow directly into the main sanitary sewer system.
• Never put anything in a manhole. If you see anyone discharging materials into a manhole, call BCSS or law enforcement.
• Don’t allow vehicles to park or drive over a right-of-way or private property where there are underground utility lines.
• Before digging on your property, call Alabama 811 for underground utility lines to be marked, and avoid digging in marked areas. Contact BCSS with any questions about working on your property in areas where there is a pump, sewer lines or valve box.
BCSS is committed to ensuring the safety of our employees and customers. Some of the ways we accomplish the highest level of safety are highlighted on our Safety site here . This site also explains how we handle SSOs on our system.
We encourage anyone in the community to alert us of a possible sewer spill by calling (251) 971-3022 any time day or night.