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Oct 23,2015
Eric Rickert

What is an Over Head Sewer?

What is an overhead sewer?

An over head sewer system raises the connection point between your homes sanitary system and your City's sewer system, typically just below the first floor. Raising your connection point prevents backup into your home if the City's sewer system is overwhelmed.

If you live in an older home your sewer is most likely gravity fed. There is nothing wrong with this. However, if there is event that causes the City's sewer service to be overwhelmed it could cause a backup into your basement floor drains and toilets. This is the nature of gravity fed systems, the liquid chooses the path of least resistance. Installing an overhead sewer is the best fix to this problem, and your city is most likely eager to help you make the change.

Many Villages are offering reimbursements for installing overhead sewers:

Installing an overhead sewer at your home is good for your Village and City too. Typically with gravity fed systems both your sanitary and gray water feed into the City's system. Part of the process of the overhead installation is to separate these, reducing the impact on the City's sanitary system, which also reduces their cost of treatment. 

So what do I do now?


Step 1: Find out exactly what your City or Village is offering.
Step 2: Ask professional to help you decide if your home can benefit from an over head sewer. We can help you with that 630-964-1700.
Step 3: Get pricing, and make sure to get a time frame of how soon the install happen. We offer free estimates

There are other solutions available to help prevent backups, but in our opinion an over head sewer is best. Alternative options are;

  • Installing a check valve on your sewer line- This type of valve is one way. It allows the sanitary waste to flow out, but will not let waste back in. The seal on these can be a point of failure.
  • Install a positive valve on your sewer line - This type of valve is manual and allows you to completely shut your home off from the City's sewer. The down side of this solution is that you have to be there to close the valve, and if you forget to reopen it and flush the toilet on an upper floor it will cause an internal overflow.


Take advantage of the help from your City or Village and make your home safe from backups.

Image credit to


Eric Rickert

Eric Rickert

Certified Project Management Professional