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Sewer Line Maintenance
Common System Problems
Despite proactive efforts to maintain the system, operational complications may sometimes occur. Some of the common causes of system problems include:
  • Blocking of the system by tree or shrub roots seeking water and entering the system
  • Using the drain to dispose of items such as grease, paper, garbage or household hazardous waste (HHW)
  • Vandalizing the system by putting foreign or incompatible materials in the system or down manholes

Preventative Maintenance
The Wastewater Division has a very proactive preventative maintenance program to keep our wastewater system functioning properly and to accomplish the city’s goal to protect the environment. A comprehensive program of ongoing investigation and preventative maintenance maximizes system performance to prevent emergency repairs.

In order to maintain our wastewater system and to keep it functioning properly, our Sewer Division utilizes the following preventative maintenance procedures.

Visual Inspection
Maintenance crews regularly check manholes, frames and covers to look out for cracks, breaks or missing parts, which may prevent them from maintaining airtight integrity. Replacement and maintenance is scheduled as necessary.

TV InspectionsTV Inspection of Lines
As a preventive maintenance tool, TV inspections are performed on sewer lines as a result of line blockages and other sewer related problems. The TV inspection process is critical in the detection and location of needed repairs.

With the TV camera, that is lowered into a manhole and pulled through the line, the crew can find the exact location of a lateral connection and type of problem. Testing and repair equipment used in conjunction with the camera will determine if there are areas of weakness in the joints and pipes and look for leakage. This information is valuable in the digging and repair process as it eliminates "guess work" in isolating a problem.

Jet / Vacuum Cleaning
Vac-U-TruckSewer lines are often cleaned to remove roots or other material, then cleaned with high-pressure water from a combination jet vacuum system.

This year, the City of Allen will purchase a second Vactor Truck to assist our maintenance staff in restoring pipe line and manhole stoppages and conducting regular preventative maintenance. This equipment is used to jet-clean the line with a high-pressure water hose. The debris is then vacuumed from the manhole with the high-powered vacuum hose.


Smoke Testing

By blowing smoke into a sewer line, crews can determine areas of breaks, improper connections and other system problems, which can then be scheduled for repair or replacement. This procedure sometimes identifies problems on the property owner’s side of the system. In these cases, the property owners are notified and advised to make the appropriate repairs.

Chemical Root Treatment
In some areas, workers may find it helpful to use a foaming chemical root treatment. This foam is pumped into selected sewer mains to kill existing roots and to inhibit their regrowth.

water sewer line