Cheltenham Township is offering free installation of a backflow prevention valve for properties that experience chronic sewer surcharges during storm events. Installed in the sewer lateral line to individual properties, the valve closes automatically against surcharge pressure, preventing sewage from traveling backwards into a home or business. Installation, which takes about a day to complete, entails excavation of the lateral line and permanent pipe access at ground level.
Although effective in preventing sewage surcharges during storm events, backflow prevention valves have caveats:
· If a valve closes due to surcharge pressure, the property’s toilets, sinks, bath/showers, laundries and other facilities connected to the sanitary sewer won’t function properly. However, this only occurs when surcharge pressure would have otherwise forced sewage into the property.
· The Township will backfill the lateral line trench with soil and top with grass seed after installation, but other landscape restoration is the property owner’s responsibility.
· Property owners will need to periodically check valves via the access pipe and clean as necessary. No special tools or skills are required.
Any property owner interested in getting a free backflow prevention valve installed should contact the Cheltenham Township Public Information Office at 215-887-6200, ext. 230.