What is the purpose of vapor traps?

Every water fixture in your house has a vapor trap. This “U” shaped pipe is clearly visible under sinks, and is present in some form on all lines draining to the sewage system. The “U” shape holds water, preventing gases from backing up from the sewer into the house through the sink drain.

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1. Sewage is backing up into my house overflowing from my drains. What should I do?
2. What is a sewer lateral?
3. What should I do if sewage is overflowing from a sewer structure onto the ground?
4. I have slow drainage through my toilets, drains. What can I do about it?
5. There is a manhole cover in my neighborhood that rattles every time a vehicle rolls over it. What can I do about it?
6. What causes sewer odors inside the house?
7. What is the purpose of vapor traps?
8. What is the purpose of the roof vent?
9. What are some of the problems that can occur?
10. What if the odor is outside the house?
11. How do I file a claim if I have property damage caused by a sewer back up?
12. Who maintains the sewer line?
13. How do I report a problem?