Tuesday, January 2, 2007

ABAG’s “Be Sewer Smart” - Communities and Homeowners Work Smart to Plug Holes in Bay Area Sewer Backup Defenses; Potential Savings in Millions

ABAG’s “Be Sewer Smart” - Communities and Homeowners Work Smart to Plug Holes in Bay Area Sewer Backup Defenses; Potential Savings in Millions

ABAG’s “Be Sewer Smart – Prevent Sewer Backups” campaign targets area homeowners whose most important investments may unknowingly be at risk of backup damage. It seeks to make these homeowners more aware of such events and what they can do to prevent them by distributing information and risk assessment tools through www. sewersmart. org.

Oakland, CA (PRWEB) October 21, 2004

The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) announced that its “Be Sewer Smart -- Prevent Sewer Backups” public education campaign and backup prevention device giveaway has protected communities and homeowners from hundreds of potential sewer backups in the campaign’s first year. The Association also announced the continuation of the backup-busting campaign for a second year. The second-year kick-off will take place in November, to coincide with the beginning of the traditional rainy season, and will offer new incentives to help homeowners be “Sewer Smart.”

Through “Be Sewer Smart,” area homeowners, communities and local businesses work in partnership to reduce the number of at-risk homes in the backup-prone San Francisco Bay Area. As a result of the 2003-04 campaign, the backup risks faced in local communities and the potential costs to those communities and their homeowners to clean up the messes backups cause are on the decline. For the first time in five years, the number of backups and associated costs began a downward trend in the 2003/04 fiscal year.

“The Be Sewer Smart campaign is about forming business partnerships and empowering homeowners to reduce the risk of unnecessary backup damage,” said Scott Haggerty, ABAG president and Alameda County supervisor. “Homeowner interest in ‘Be Sewer Smart’ has exceeded our expectations with tens of thousands of visitors to our informative Website in the campaign’s first year. This is truly good news for homeowners and their communities because the potential savings to both numbers in the millions of dollars annually.”

ABAG estimates that every backup prevented has the potential to save homeowners, businesses and their insurers tens-to-hundreds of thousands of dollars. Communities also benefit from the prevention of many backups. Hundreds of Bay Area homes are damaged annually by sewer backups, with the majority of these costly events occurring during California’s “rainy” season months of November through April. It’s estimated that damage caused by backups costs local homeowners and their communities as much as $20 million annually.

“Our licensed professional plumbing contractor members are pleased to be partners in this important program to help area homeowners and their communities prevent the costly and unnecessary damage caused by sewer backups,” said Tom McGinley, executive director, Peninsula Builders Exchange. “Inspection, preventive maintenance, and oftentimes a simple and inexpensive backup prevention device,

Can easily prevent thousands of dollars in damage to a single home. Lots of homeowners think these are good, ‘Sewer Smart’ investments, and so do we.”

ABAG’s “Be Sewer Smart – Prevent Sewer Backups” campaign targets area homeowners whose most important investments may unknowingly be at risk of backup damage. It seeks to make these homeowners more aware of such events and what they can do to prevent them by distributing information and risk assessment tools through www. sewersmart. org. The program’s Website offers easy-to-understand information about homeowners’ sewer systems and their responsibilities, as well as simple “Be Sewer Smart” Do and Don’t Tips for maintaining a trouble-free connection.

By the end of the “Be Sewer Smart” public education campaign’s first year, hundreds of thousands of area homeowners had visited the Website to find sewer maintenance and backup prevention tips and ideas as well as to take a simple test to determine their risk of sewer backup.

“Be Sewer Smart -- Prevent Sewer Backups” is a public education campaign of the Association of Bay Area Governments’ Pooled Liability Assurance Network (PLAN) Corporation. The goal of the campaign is to prevent such backups and the damage and inconvenience they can cause.

Be Sewer Smart Campaign Partners

ABAG PLAN Corporation is a non-profit corporation whose purpose is to benefit the citizens of each member community by establishing a stable, cost-effective self-insurance, risk sharing and risk management program for each member. The PLAN was formed in 1986 and currently has 31 member cities and towns in the Bay Area. It provides liability and property coverage as well as a variety of risk management services such as training, claims management, loss prevention, and consulting services. For more details, visit www. abag. ca. gov/plan (http://www. abag. ca. gov/plan).

The Association of Bay Area Governments is one of more than 560 regional planning agencies across the nation working to help solve problems in areas such as land use, housing, environmental quality, and economic development. Founded in 1961, ABAG is the regional planning agency for the 101 cities and towns, and nine counties of the Bay Area and is recognized as the first council of governments in California.

The Peninsula Builders Exchange is a non-profit, member run, association. Its mission since 1945 is to improve standards and cooperation within the construction industry. For more information, contact PBX at 650-591-4486 or by email at support@constructionplans. org.

The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties is dedicated to the promotion, advancement, education and training of the industry for the protection of our environment and the health, safety and comfort of society. For more information, visit www. phccaccc. org or send an email to PHCCACCC@aol. com.

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