Sewer Backups

Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances can result in a sewer backup that floods part of a house. Taking care of this issue responsibly is important to protecting both your property and yourself.

There are several contract services that will come into your home and clean/disinfect the affected areas. You can find these resources in the phone book or online under water damage/restoration services.

If you choose to or attempt to clean your home yourself and would like more information about basement backups, you can find suggested steps for cleaning from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) here.

The recommendations below are also from the KDHE website.

Personal Hygeine

  • Wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves during a cleanup of sewage.
  • Wash hands with soap and water before preparing or eating food and after handling articles contaminated with sewage.
  • Avoid smoking while working in sewage-contaminated water.
  • If you have any cuts or sores which will be exposed to this water, wash them thoroughly afterwards to control infection. If a wound develops redness, swelling, or drainage, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Disinfect toys using a solution of 1/8 cup bleach in two gallons of water.
  • Anyone receiving a puncture wound or cut while cleaning up should have a doctor determine whether a tetanus booster is necessary.


If a backup of sewage does occur, the following steps should be taken to clean up the area:
  1. First, remove the remaining standing water. Materials which have been water-soaked should be removed from the basement. Such items could include bedding, rugs, upholstered furniture, boxes, carpeting, padding, and papers.
  2. With the electricity turned off, electrical outlets should be opened and drained and allowed to dry. Duct work should also be drained and allowed to dry.
  3. Walls and hard-surfaced floors should be cleaned with soap and water and disinfected with a solution of 1/2 cup of bleach to one gallon of water. Thoroughly disinfect any food service areas or areas where children play.
  4. Wash all linens in hot water or have them dry cleaned. Steam clean all carpeting, if salvageable. If not, discard. All carpet padding should be discarded.
  5. If insulation and sheetrock have become wet, they will need to be removed. Allow plenty of time for drying before reinstalling insulation to prevent mildew.