For properties with a sanitary sewer backflow preventer, after yesterday’s significant rainfall and flooding, this is a reminder that your sanitary sewer backwater value (backflow preventer) needs to be maintained for them to properly work.

To summarize the process, an online video that shows this maintenance procedure is available at: and is generally as follows:

  1. Remove threaded plug
  2. Loosen but do not remove the stainless-steel thumb screw in the upper collar
  3. Note approximate location of thumb screw and opposing notch at this time for the correct repositioning of the insert pipe during reinstallation
  4. Using the finger hole provided above thumb screw, extract the insert pipe and attached flapper assembly
  5. Clean any debris that has built up in the valve body or has been trapped by the flapper
  6. Inspect the flapper for any deterioration or damage
  7. Replace flapper is any deterioration is observed.
  8. Remove any solids at the bottom of the riser pipe with hose.
  9. Reinstall assembly.
  10. Manufacturer recommends 3-month inspection interval under normal use

If your flapper needs to be replaced, they are available at Atlas Clay & Metal Products in Pittsburgh, they can be reached at 412-321-1852.  If this work is beyond your abilities, please contact a registered plumber.