Sewage backing up in Cities: Skylines

Your citizens may experience various problems in Cities: Skylines, one of which is the sewage backing up; luckily it is easy to fix.


Cities: Skylines is a popular single-player, open-ended video game with city-building simulation elements. You can engage in urban planning by controlling road placements, public services, zoning, and public transport in a specific area. Moreover, players can manage the city’s budget, pollution, and employment levels as well as enjoy a sandbox mode, which provides more creative freedom.

All players start with an empty plot of land and an interchange exit from a nearby highway. You have to place roads, allocate different types of zones, and provide basic services. As your city grows, you can unlock new improvements, which includes new buildings.

Cities: Skylines sewage
© Paradox Interactive

Water and sewage systems

Players must ensure that they place their water and sewage systems correctly when they first start playing the game. Your citizens must always have access to fresh drinking water, otherwise they will get sick and die. You can build water-pumping stations and water towers to supply your citizens with fresh water.

You should also ensure that your city’s sewage system works by placing drainage pipes in it. Unfortunately, drainpipes can cause water pollution, so you should also place water treatment plants in the city that will process the sewage before being thrown into the water.

Sewage backing up in Cities: Skylines

As you advance in the game, your citizens may complain about certain things, one of them being sewage backing up. It is your responsibility to fix the sewage system and solve the problem and luckily, it can be fixed quite easily.

Head to your utilities tab before selecting water where you will then be able to purchase more water drainpipes. These can possibly fix the sewage backup. Remember to link this new water drainpipe to the other pipes.

Cities- Skylines water pumping station
© Paradox Interactive

Alternatively, you can place more sewage facilities in your city to ensure that the water purification process goes quicker, or you can place additional water pumps into the sewage system, which can also speed up the process. You may have an electricity shortage if you place additional water pumps in the system, which means that you have to purchase additional generators.

Sewage modification

Like with other games, players can find an array of modifications, better known as mods, that could have a direct influence on their gameplay. The sewage treatment plant mod needs to be placed in a non-polluted area, as it generates no pollution or garbage.

It does not require a river to work, and it will clean your city sewage. Allegedly, it also cleans some polluted water before returning it back to the water pipes for citizens to use. Players can find this mod on the Steam Workshop website.

Cities- Skylines water tower
© Paradox Interactive

Water and sewage service buildings

Players should note that there are many service buildings they can purchase for their water and sewage systems. However, some of the buildings can only be unlocked when you have met specific requirements. The following table indicates some of the service buildings available, how to unlock them, and their costs:

Building How to unlock Cost
Water pumping station You will unlock it when you first start playing the game 2500
Large water tower It will be unlocked once you have a big city 9000
Water drain pipe Unlocked when you play the game for the first time 2500
Water treatment plant Players will unlock it when they reach the big city 15 000
Pumping service You will gain access to it once you have a busy town 100 000

Where should drainpipes be placed?

Your citizens also need to deal with sewage. Players should remember that water treatment plans and drainpipes must be placed on a shoreline. Furthermore, they have to be connected to the main water supply network.

The drainpipes will simply pump the raw sewage into the ocean, which will quickly cause massive amounts of water pollution. To prevent this, players should purchase a water treatment plant to process the sewage before it gets dumped into the ocean.

Cities- Skylines sewage
© Paradox Interactive

Final Thoughts

Cities: Skylines is a fun single-player, open-ended video game made up of city-building simulation elements. You can engage in urban planning by managing road placement, public services, zoning, and public transport in a specific area. Moreover, players can manage the city’s budget, pollution, and employment levels.

As you progress in the game, your citizens may start complaining about certain things such as the sewage backing up. Luckily, this can be fixed by adding more drainpipes to the city, downloading a sewage mod, or purchasing additional sewage facilities.

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