Backup Prevention Program

In the past, some Johnson County homeowners have faced the frustrating challenge of basement flooding caused by sanitary sewer backups during extremely heavy rains. JCW wants to help you better protect your home during these rains, a Backup Prevention Program is available to homeowners. This program is voluntary and provides funding to eligible homeowners so they may install a backup prevention device or make plumbing modifications on their property.

This program is intended to help protect your home from future sanitary sewer backups during heavy rains. However, a backup device or these plumbing modifications will not resolve basement water problems caused by cracks in walls, floors, window well leakage and surface water flooding.

COVID-19 Impact Statement

As the novel coronavirus COVID-19 begins to impact our community and daily lives, we want to assure you that we are monitoring developments very closely and taking action daily to protect and support customers and employees. As such, a few changes to the processes for eligibility determination and final completion verification have been made and are updated below.

Eligibility

Eligibility Requirements:

  • You must be a JCW customer or property owner within JCW service area.
  • Your home must have experienced a confirmed sanitary sewer basement backup as a result of an intense rain event.
  • The backup must have been the direct result of capacity problems in the sanitary sewer system.
     

This program is intended to help protect your home from future backups during heavy rains. A backup device or plumbing modifications will not resolve:

  • Sanitary sewer service lateral issues (roots, cracks or broken pipe.)
  • Basement water problems caused by cracks in walls, floors, window well leakage and surface water flooding.

Getting Started

To begin the application process, please complete the online Sanitary Sewer Backup Response Questionnaire.  Once the online questionnaire is received, we will determine the following:

  • Is the property within JCW service area?
  • Is the property within a flood-prone area?
  • Are neighbors also experiencing sanitary sewer backups?
  • Is there record of JCW cleaning and televising of the public sewer?
     

You will be notified if your property qualifies for the Backup Prevention Program at this time.

Next Steps

  • If your property is eligible for the Backup Prevention Program, you will be emailed information that includes the following: 
  • The agreement and release documents must be signed and returned prior to the plumbing contractor starting the work.
  • Once you receive the above information, please contact at least two plumbing contractors for written estimates of comparable methods of preventing sanitary sewer backups.  Submit copies of your estimates and agreements by email or mail them to:
    • Johnson County Wastewater
      ATTN: Troy Young
      4800 Nall Avenue
      Mission, KS 66202
  • Review of estimates and agreement, authorization of funds will be for the lowest dollar amount of comparable estimates.
  • Authorization of Funds letter will be emailed to customer, it provides authorized funding amount from JCW’s Backup Prevention Program.
  • Schedule the work with plumbing contractor of your choice. The contractor is responsible for all permits and city inspections.
  • Once the final plumbing contactors invoice is received, a final verification site visit of the work authorized by JCW’s Backup Prevention Program will be scheduled with customer.
  • If customer has not returned a signed program Release form, one will need to be signed at time of final verification site visit (Release will need to be signed for JCW to issue payment).
  • JCW can make payment directly to plumbing contractor or reimburse customer for authorized cost. If customer reimbursement is payment option additional steps will be needed.

Common Options

JCW’s Backup Prevention Program is voluntary and options should be discussed with your plumbing contractor. There is no one size fits all option .  JCW does not specify any make or model of backup prevention device or preferred method.

Backwater Valve Options

A contractor may recommend a backup prevention valve on the sanitary sewer service line (typically before it exits your home). The contractor will remove small portion of your basement floor to expose the service line and install the valve. The valve will require regular maintenance, so we recommend putting the valve in a location that’s easily accessible.

JCW recommends discussing the type of valve the plumber recommends. Links to websites for some common backwater valves below:

Sewage Ejector Pump

A contractor may recommend a sewage ejector pump as an alternative to a backup prevention valve when floor and laundry drains are the only basement plumbing fixtures. Sewage ejector pumps go in the basement. The drain lines from the floor drains and sinks are connected to its basin. The pump inside the basin has a float system that when activated will move solids and liquids to a higher elevation before it enters the home’s sanitary plumbing again.

Contractors

Johnson County Wastewater has compiled a list of contractors for your convenience only. Contractors on the list are interested in the program and have attended an informational meeting about the program.  You’re not obligated to employ a contractor on the list. You have a right to obtain a bid from any contractor.

Contractor Qualifications & Conditions:
  • Contractors performing work under this program shall maintain commercial general liability, including completed Operations coverage with a minimum limit of $500,000 combined single limit property damage and bodily injury liability, and Worker's Compensation coverage, if required by the State of Kansas or Missouri, depending on the place of business. Missouri contractors who maintain Worker's Compensation coverage shall have an "All States" endorsement included on their coverage.
  • Johnson County Wastewater does not endorse or recommend contractors for the purpose of installing backup prevention devices or the installation of sewage ejector pump systems. Any contractor who generates numerous complaints from property owners or neglects to perform quality workmanship shall be removed from the list at the discretion of Johnson County Wastewater.
  • JCW does not specify any make or model of backup prevention device or preferred method.
  • The contractor is responsible for all permits and city inspections.
  • The plumbing contractor should take photos of the work and provide copies with the plumber’s final invoice.
  • All work performed under the Backup Prevention Program will be warranted by the contractor for a period of not less than one (1) year following the date of installation.

Recommended Annual Maintenance

Any maintenance, repair, or replacement costs associated with the backup prevention device or any modifications of the plumbing shall be the responsibility of the property owner following the one (1) year warranty period.

Option 1

You can contact a local plumbing company and have them perform the manufacturer recommend annual maintenance.

Option 2  

DIY - if you follow these steps just once a year (twice a year for older and high use properties), you can ensure your valve is doing its job.

What you’ll need:
  • Flashlight
  • Disposable rubber gloves
  • Long handle toilet brush
     
Instructions:
  • With gloves on, remove the cap of your backwater valve. Carefully check the cap’s O-ring for signs of damage and replace if necessary.
  • Inspect the valve’s interior with the help of your flashlight. You can remove any large blockages (like wads of paper) by gloved hand.
  • Your backwater valve flapper must be able to open and shut with ease and be free of all impairments. Remove the flapper and carefully check the edges, top and bottom of your gate and remove all build-up. Replace the flapper carefully, ensuring that it swings freely once it is seated back into the hinge.
  • Check the gate’s O-ring for signs of damage and replace if necessary.
  • Use your toilet brush to scrub the interior of the valve.
  • With the interior clean and your flapper opening and closing with ease, re-apply the cap tightly but be careful not to cross thread.
     
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