Overhead Sewer Installation

As is common in our neck of the woods, and indeed many of Chicago’s suburbs,cracked plumbing stack our house has flooded in the past. But there are two kinds of floods. The first is a result of groundwater seeping in from over-saturated soils and drain tiles or overflowing sump pumps; let’s call this the “good” kind of flood. The second is a result of an overwhelmed municipal sewer system that backs up through basement floor drains, showers or toilets; let’s call that the sh*tty kind.

At least once upon a time, our mid-century house flooded. We know there was at least one big sh*tty flood after 1980, before the completion of Chicago’s Deep Tunnel Project. Who knows if we’d experience a sewage back up again?

DH put it to me this way, “How much would you pay to guarantee you will never have to clean up someone’s poop from our basement?”

Thinking it an unlikely scenario (I’m optimistic like that), I capped the amount at under $3,000. The husband capped it closer to $15K.

He won.

He does have a point.

And now we have a new overhead sewer system, plus a sump pit and an ejector pit in our basement.

Gone is the silvery old cracked sewer stack which leaked out just a teensy bit of poopy water (pictured above).

And now, after Day 1 of a 3-day install, we’ve got this snazzy 4-inch PVC running the length of our entire basement. Yes, it willsoon be filled with freshly flushed toilet water, so let’s hope it doesn’t leak!

overhead sewer pipe in basementSee the remnant of our cracked old stack? It’s going to get clipped off at floor level and sealed up.

overhead sewer PVC pipe exits the housePer code, the line exits the house four feet below grade, so it’s really only overhead if you’re the smallest person on Earth.


digging near foundationOf course, it’s not a done deal until our new piping meets the city sewer lines. Yes, that used to be our front lawn. But what really kills me is this:

breaking open a wallThe plumber had to open a wall in my office to vent the new lines and DH did not tell them to put down cardboard or anything to protect my shiny new floor! #Ugh.

On a lighter side, we look pretty cool with this parked in our driveway.

Updated 10/16/11 to add. What do overhead sewers look like? See our YouTube video about them.



6 Responses to Overhead Sewer Installation
  1. Michelle
    July 29, 2011 | 4:01 pm

    Egads, I gotta say that I think I might be going with your husband on this one, but you knew that already. How have you been faring with the rains? Any damage?

    LOVE the new floors by the way 🙂

  2. Kristi
    July 29, 2011 | 10:17 pm

    Crazy. Just crazy.

  3. admin
    July 29, 2011 | 10:23 pm

    For better or worse (given the cost of this), we haven’t had water since we sealed up the foundation crack.

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  5. Cher@Mom and More
    July 30, 2011 | 8:06 am

    My cousin just got overhead sewers and basement clean-up from mold and it was $25,000!

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