Common System Problems
Despite efforts to maintain the sewer system, complications sometimes occur. Common causes include:
Tree or shrub roots entering the system in search for water
Disposing of grease, paper, garbage or household hazardous waste (HHW) down the drain. Download the Fight the Grease Menace brochure to learn how to prevent sewer back ups and watch this informative video on why you should never put grease down the drain.
Vandalizing the system by putting foreign or incompatible materials in sewer pipes or manholes
Ongoing investigation and care helps the Wastewater Division maximize system performance and prevent repairs. Preventative maintenance may include the following procedures.
Maintenance crews regularly check manholes, frames and covers for cracks, breaks or missing parts, which may compromise their airtight integrity. Replacement and maintenance is scheduled as needed.
TV Inspection of Lines TV inspections are used to locate blockages and other sewer problems. Cameras are lowered into a manhole and pulled through the sewer line to identify the exact location of an obstruction or leak. This information eliminates "guess work" and unnecessary digging.
By blowing smoke
into a sewer line, crews can find breaks, improper connections and
other system problems. This procedure sometimes identifies problems on
the property owner’s side of the system. In these cases, property owners
are notified and advised to make the appropriate repairs.
Chemical Root Treatment
Workers may treat select sewer mains with a foaming chemical root
treatment. This foam kills existing roots and inhibits their regrowth.
Jet / Vacuum Cleaning Sewer
lines are often rinsed with a high-pressure water hose to remove roots
or other debris. The material then is removed from the system with
high-powered vacuum. In 2014, the City of Allen purchased a second Vactor Truck to assist in this jet spray and vacuum cleaning.