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Heya! Been lurking for awhile, first post, please be gentle....

I live in a suburban area in Northern California. Since I can't prep for it, I'm not planning on how to deal with the End of the World. Also, bugging out is not really a viable option, unless my residence becomes uninhabitable. I AM pretty well set to live without utilities (natural gas, electricty, water, etc.) for a period in excess of 3 months. Think Bug In.

One thing bothering me, which I haven't figured out yet: sooner or later, the sewers will overflow and back up into people's houses, including mine. I've read about installing a backflow valve in the sewer line, which is an expense I can't afford at this point. SO, if YOU had to bug in, how would you plug / block the toilets (and sinks) in your home to prevent sewage from backing up, or being forced from the main line into your house? I'd prefer to avoid removing the toilets if necessary, but, all suggestions are welcome.

NOTE: fuel, water, food, shelter, firearms are all easy. Maintaining hygiene and sanitation- a bit more difficult, becasue, it's gotta go somewhere. Including the stuff in the sewers when the sewage treatment plant stops working.

Thanks in advance for your ideas. And, please, keep it real. This is the one area that's got me stumped.
 

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first guess (talking long turm shtf) a bag of concrete in the bowl and dont flush lol

other than that, it's a bit of luck, most systems rely on gravity... and have backups in place to prevent the nasty crap coming back through the lines...

other options, work out where your septic line goes... and find a good spot away from the house, and blow the mofo up... (it will sever the connection without using all that digging power)

another, is learn how to.connect a ball valve (cheap as) and when shtf, install it (won't be fun) but will guarantee no backups...
 
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For the most part sewage systems work on gravity flow. Your toilet will flush if there is water to flush it. No need to plug anything.
 

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Somewhere you have to have an access to the sewer; if you don't you have a different problem ...

BUt anyway - best way to plug your sewer is to take a plastic bag, a heavy duty contractors bag would probably be best, stuff it full of wrags/towels or other cloth. Ball it up and stuff it into the access so that it plugs up the pipe, tamp it down nice and tight.

You can also tie some rope around it to help make extraction easier at a later point.
 

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For the most part sewage systems work on gravity flow. Your toilet will flush if there is water to flush it. No need to plug anything.
As long as your on top of the hill.
 

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In Milwaukee nearly every time they have a big rain it backs up in people homes
Strong bag of sand packed real tight should do it.
 

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You can go to your local plumbing supply store and by a test ball take it home and open up your clean out drop in and air it up with a compressor and your done .Cherne Test Balls
 
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Agreed... That and conquering the fan are child's play. But in '87 at a Rolling Stones Concert I once plugged a porta john.
I NEED to know how you managed that. It is one of the items on my bucket list. Way impressive!

 
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Having a private septic tank and system is nice no plugging necessary, it simplifies the what to do with poo issue since grey or untreated water can be used for flushing.

Most sewer systems will have a bypass for clean outs and inspection etc. this will usually be located inside the basement or crawlspace of single dwelling homes. You can plug the entire septic for the structure at this access without having to undo any internal plumbing. If you simply plug the toilet, and there is a backflow of raw sewage you will simply have it coming up through the sink drains and not the toilet. So to be effective at keeping the sewage backflow out you really have to block it at the point the septic system enters the house.

I would also suggest using a test ball. Or you could cobble up a plug from a couple of plywood discs along with a piece of running thread with washers and bolts, then come up with some packing material to compress between the discs. Perhaps used plastic shopping bags.
 

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Heya! Been lurking for awhile, first post, please be gentle....

I live in a suburban area in Northern California. Since I can't prep for it, I'm not planning on how to deal with the End of the World. Also, bugging out is not really a viable option, unless my residence becomes uninhabitable. I AM pretty well set to live without utilities (natural gas, electricty, water, etc.) for a period in excess of 3 months. Think Bug In.

One thing bothering me, which I haven't figured out yet: sooner or later, the sewers will overflow and back up into people's houses, including mine. I've read about installing a backflow valve in the sewer line, which is an expense I can't afford at this point. SO, if YOU had to bug in, how would you plug / block the toilets (and sinks) in your home to prevent sewage from backing up, or being forced from the main line into your house? I'd prefer to avoid removing the toilets if necessary, but, all suggestions are welcome.

NOTE: fuel, water, food, shelter, firearms are all easy. Maintaining hygiene and sanitation- a bit more difficult, becasue, it's gotta go somewhere. Including the stuff in the sewers when the sewage treatment plant stops working.

Thanks in advance for your ideas. And, please, keep it real. This is the one area that's got me stumped.
A most informed question, not many people want to deal with their shat.

On public sewage you must assume you will be backed up. So I suggest you find out where your sewer line runs and plan to dig it up and plug it up ASAP.

In your area it will probably be only 2-3 feet deep which can be accessed in an hour with a shovel. Even 4 feet deep is only an hour away with 2 healthy people digging.

If you don't address this you next problem will be sewage coming up through your basement drains, your toilets, your showers, your sinks, it will get really nasty really fast if you are lower than the houses around you.
 

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You can take a toilet plunger, remove the handle & insert it upside down. Then finish filling the toilet with bricks, metal, etc. That should prevent back filling of the toilet.
 

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I understand in a storm situation where there is heavy heavy rains overloading the system how you can have a sewage system back up. I've seen waters in Houston come down fast enough to dislodge man-hole covers. Not blow them sky high or anything but bubble them up and over. As a matter of fact, most ( would bet in the 99th percentile) of your home owners insurance policies do not cover backed up sewage during a storm - even if the flood waters never get to your house and you are outside of the 500yr flood plain. You have to get a separate flood insurance policy to cover that.

I can even understand how after the Superbowl when everyone flushes at the same time how that would interrupt normal sewage functions.

But for the life of me, I can't figure out how a gravity fed system would back up and flood sewage. I'm not calling anyone out. I just need more information on the factors that would drive this event. How does the system fail?
 

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Agreed... That and conquering the fan are child's play. But in '87 at a Rolling Stones Concert I once plugged a porta john.
I NEED to know how you managed that. It is one of the items on my bucket list. Way impressive!

The Stone's aren't gonna live forever so might wanna start increasing your fiber intake.....
 

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I understand in a storm situation where there is heavy heavy rains overloading the system how you can have a sewage system back up. I've seen waters in Houston come down fast enough to dislodge man-hole covers. Not blow them sky high or anything but bubble them up and over. As a matter of fact, most ( would bet in the 99th percentile) of your home owners insurance policies do not cover backed up sewage during a storm - even if the flood waters never get to your house and you are outside of the 500yr flood plain. You have to get a separate flood insurance policy to cover that.

I can even understand how after the Superbowl when everyone flushes at the same time how that would interrupt normal sewage functions.

But for the life of me, I can't figure out how a gravity fed system would back up and flood sewage. I'm not calling anyone out. I just need more information on the factors that would drive this event. How does the system fail?
City sewer systems rely on pumps to get the waste to the processing plant(s). If there is no electric for pumps then systems will back up. There is also the methane cause by backed up systems.
 

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