The Benefits of a Backwater Valve

If you have ever experienced a flooded basement, then you know the seriously damaging effects that it can have. It can destroy anything that is stored within the flooded area and it can cause thousands of dollars of damage to a person’s home. This can sometimes happen without warning due to a blocked connection in a sewer line or it can be due to a massive storm that causes an excess of stormwater to flood a home’s plumbing system.

Many people in Toronto experience flood damage every year, but it will only take another massive storm to cause severe damage across the city. There are hundreds of homeowners who recall what happened in July, 2013, when a massive flash flood swept across the city. Roadways, basements, parks, and even subway stations flooded in a matter of minutes and caused millions of dollars in damages to many homes and city properties. Insurance companies paid out nearly $1 billion in claims from damage on that day, which was more than everything in the previous four years combined.

Although these types of storms are difficult to predict, what is predictable is the damage that it can cause from flooding. Homeowners can expect that if they are not properly prepared they can easily fall victim to the flooded basements and sewer systems that are incapable of handling such enormous amounts of water.

Backwater Valve

One of the most common forms of damage is in homes that are not equipped with backwater valves on their plumbing system. Homes without a backwater valve are the most likely to get flooded when the city’s sewer system gets overwhelmed by a big storm and causes stormwater and sewage to backup into people’s properties. Since the flash flood of 2013, companies like Mister Plumber have installed many backwater valves across the city to help people protect their homes from potential flooding.

It is estimated that there are at least 42 areas in the GTA that are at serious risk from flooding. This should be seriously concerning for anyone that lives close to one of those areas, particularly if their home does not have a backwater valve to protect their plumbing system.

A backwater valve is a device that is designed to block the back flow of water into a home. There are a variety of designs, which contain different levels of tightness in their seal and complexity in their ease of operation. It is best to consult a professional plumber like Mister Plumber to determine what would be the most beneficial to your plumbing system.

Backwater valves do not only protect homes from stormwater floods, but they prevent back flow of water into a home regardless of the cause. This includes sewer blockages or backups from a variety of causes.  This is part of the reason that it is so important to have a backwater valve installed in every home. A basement flooded with sewage water can cause significant damage to a property and pose a serious health risk to people who are exposed to it. For these reasons, it is highly recommended to homeowners to ensure that their plumbing system contains a backwater valve.

The City of Toronto is currently offering a Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program to help owners with the cost of installing a backwater valve. The city recommends contacting a licensed plumbing company to help homeowners update their systems as soon as possible.


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