While only a handful of our customers experience a sewer backup occasionally, we know that when it does occur, it can be a stressful experience. Therefore, we’ve put a plan in place to help our customers through the process.

Sewer backups are typically caused by two occurrences:

  • one, by an obstruction in the public sewer or service lateral (the portion of the pipe from the main in the street or right-of-way to the vent and cleanout. located in most cases behind the curb line), created by solids depositions or roots in the pipe,
  • or two, by substantially excessive flow created by storm water or ground water entering the system

If you are experiencing a sewer backup, call the Antietam Valley Municipal Authority (AVMA) first at 610.779.0150 between 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday – Friday. After 3:30 p.m. or on weekends and holidays, report backups to the by calling our 24-hour pagers at 484-333-1436.

AVMA representatives will provide an on-site inspection to verify that the public sewer main, or service lateral, serving your home is functioning properly – this is a free service to you and may save you costly, unnecessary plumbing and repair bills. If we find that there is a problem with our main, or our section of the service lateral, we will repair it, free of charge.

If we find that there is no obstruction in the public sewer, then it may be necessary for you to contact a plumber to check the condition of the sanitary sewer service line serving your home or business…this line is owned by you and must be maintained by you.


Customers may potentially alleviate possible sewer-related damage expenses by contacting their property insurance provider to inquire about sewer backup coverage. Many homeowner policies do not provide coverage for these occurrences. Check with your agent to determine what options are available for you.


Keep in mind that AVMA personnel are continually working towards minimizing the probability of sewer backups. We remain diligent in the effort to regularly fix, replace and maintain the sewer lines throughout our system.