TO: City Residents
RE: City Sewer Line Cleaning for your area. The area was noted in a previous post and includes homes on Hillcrest and Elmwood St as well as near the north water tower.
The city will be cleaning city sewer lines in your area 8-22 to 8-25 weather and schedule permitting).
We would like to give you a more specific time frame as to when we will be at your location but, challenges and issues that arise as we clean & inspect prevent that.
This letter is just to inform you and answer a few questions that come up often.
How is this done? A large truck with a reel, having several hundred feet of orange hose will be in your neighborhood. The hose is put into the sewer line and run out from one manhole to the next. Then water is used to wash mostly grit, sand and some other foreign material back to the truck where vacuum sucks the debris into a tank on the truck. Sometimes roots are found in the line and more aggressive cleaning procedures need to be used in an attempt to successfully clean the line. Over all general cleaning is uneventful and you would not even know it had been done.
What kind of events can happen? The most common event you may notice is a gurgling in your toilet. This is caused when the cleaning line (that large orange hose) passes by your service lateral, (the line that comes from your house to the city line).
What else can happen? Each home should be equipped with a vent pipe hooked to your lateral in an optimum specific location. (It should be the last thing hooked to your wastewater system before going to the street). This should all have been done when your home was built. This vent pipe allows needed air, caused by the vacuum in the lines, to enter the sewer system without any effects to your system, however if you vent is partially plugged, completely plugged or installed somewhere other than the optimum location, vacuum from the cleaning may cause your toilets to (bubble) splashing water out of you toilet as the vacuum tries to draw the water from your bowl. This is not sewer water from the city main, but only the water from your toilet bowl and drain sink traps, simply placing an old towel over your toilet bowl, closing your lid over it, and covering your sink drains, greatly reduces any inconvenience this may cause.
Well, anything else? Yes, a few things. That same vacuum we discussed above may draw the water out of your drain traps. This is the small amount of water that is always left in your drains that creates a seal, keeping sewer smell from entering your home through the sewer system. If you smell this smell after or during cleaning simply pouring some water into your drains, (don’t forget the floor drains in your basement), this will fix this problem. And secondly, in order for us to maintain the city sewer system, we will be opening manhole covers, and although we are normally at the manhole when it is open, sometimes it is left marked with a cone but unattended for a short period of time. Therefore it is recommended that you do not leave children or pets unattended while we are in your vicinity.
How often do these things happen? The gurgling is rather common. On average about three homes in one hundred may experience the bubbling toilet and or the drains drying out.
Well, who is responsible for any problems here? Ultimately it is your responsibility to maintain your system to the city main. Just as roots in your service lateral are your responsibility, a plugged or improperly installed vent is also your responsibility and not the city’s. That being said, as a homeowner and valued member of our community, you and care of your property are considered in everything we do while cleaning the sewer lines. We pledge to do the best possible job we can do with the least possible adverse effects to you as a homeowner.
Best Wishes RCT Sewer and Vac and your local City Representatives.