Southwest Delaware County Municipal Authority

1 Gamble Lane
Aston, PA 19014

Sewer Issues

If you are experiencing a sewer back up into your home, please contact SWDCMA at (610) 494-1335. An SWDCMA Operator will handle your call during our office hours of Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Your trouble call will be logged and a technician will be dispatched to your home. If you call our office after business hours, please follow the prompts provided in the message so that your call can be routed to the Operator who can dispatch a technician.

If you are not experiencing a backup but have a different sewer issue (i.e. sluggish drainage, drain odor, etc.), please contact a plumber as this situation is most often the result of lateral maintenance needed. The maintenance of the lateral (the pipe from your home to the sewer main line in the street) is the responsibility of the homeowner. Lateral maintenance does include root growth and grease build up in the pipe.

SWDCMA encourages our customers to contact your homeowner’s insurance carrier and talk to them about the options you may have available for Sewer/Water Backup coverage being added to your homeowner’s insurance policy, in case of a sewer backup into your home.

“Flushable/Disposable” Wipes Causing Sewer Backups

Prior to the National Emergency for the COVID 19 pandemic, sewer authorities have been dealing with sewer main blockages caused by “flushable” or “disposable” wipes.  Since the start of the pandemic, however, sewer authorities are now adding disinfectant wipes to the list of items causing blockages in a big way. 

Since the onset of the National Emergency, we have all seen the empty shelves in stores where toilet tissue was once located.  Without the availability of toilet tissue, people have resorted to using facial tissue, napkins, paper towels, etc. in its place.  In turn, these products are then flushed down toilets and enter a homeowner’s lateral.  If the homeowner’s lateral is infiltrated with grease, tree roots, etc., these products will accumulate inside the lateral and result in a blockage whereby sewage will back up inside the home.   If the homeowner has a lateral clear of any other contributing factors, such as grease or roots, these products may make it into the sanitary sewer system where they do not dissolve.  Instead, they accumulate into large masses that will eventually cause a blockage in a sewer main, which will not be realized until there is a sewage backup in someone’s home.

Compounding the problem is the increased use of disinfectant wipes in response to the pandemic.  In an effort to fight this virus, disinfectant wipes are in heavy use in homes.  These disinfectant wipes, just as with all of the other non-toilet tissue products, are not to be flushed down the toilet.  They should be disposed of in the garbage.

The SWDCMA is experiencing an increase in the number of trouble-calls from homeowners that are experiencing blockages in their laterals.  If you hire a plumber to clear a blockage from your lateral, please contact our office to advise if a blockage was pushed into the sewer main.  This will allow us to make the necessary arrangements for clearing the mass from the sewer main and avoiding a backup further down the line.

The SWDCMA asks you to please dispose of all varieties of “wipes” in the garbage.  There should be no products other than toilet tissue flushed into the sanitary sewer system.