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Inspecting Your Lines and Capping Your Cleanouts

February 22, 2023

Proactive Maintenance and Replacement

As part of its Clean Water Forward initiative, MetroConnects has been inspecting its sanitary sewer lines and undertaking maintenance and replacement of aging sewer infrastructure. During these inspections, MetroConnects crew members and contractors are also identifying problems within your private sanitary sewer lateral line and your clean-out (please see drawing above).

The private sanitary sewer lateral is the pipe that transports wastewater from a home or business to the 4” to 6” connection, at or near the property line, with MetroConnects public sanitary sewer service lateral. The private lateral, as the term suggests, is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain.

Lateral lines with breaks, line collapses, broken caps, and other defects can allow stormwater or groundwater, or what sewer professionals refer to as Inflow/Infiltration (I/I), enter the public sanitary sewer system. With more than 1,400 miles of sewer and thousands of service connections through MetroConnects’ sanitary sewer system, there’s an opportunity for I/I to sneak in.

Stormwater and groundwater do not need to be treated at the wastewater recovery facility and its infiltration into wastewater systems can be very costly in many ways.

This extra flow:
  • Contributes to sanitary sewer overflows, which could contaminate surrounding areas;
  • Contributes to backups into homes, businesses, and other buildings;
  • Reduces sewer capacity for the surrounding area; and
  • Increases the cost of wastewater treatment for all sewer customers.
What is MetroConnects doing?
  • Routine cleaning and maintenance;
  • Using robotic cameras to inspect pipes for cracks and roots;
  • Installing liners in old pipes to seal them back up;
  • Digging up and replacing pipes that are broken beyond repair;
  • Repairing cracks and holes in manholes; and
  • Raising manhole covers in areas that are prone to flooding.
How can Property Owners Help?
  • Inspect and repair damaged sewer lines;
  • Replace older clay pipes that are beyond their useful life;
  • Make sure sump pumps and down spouts are not connected to your sanitary sewer system; and
  • Cap your clean-out
What is a clean-out?

A clean-out is an access point for plumbers and our maintenance crews to clear sewer blockages. The clean-out cap is located at the ground surface. These caps can be easily damaged during landscaping projects or mowing the lawn, so it’s important for homeowners to inspect them often. Keeping your clean-out capped will prevent debris and rainwater from entering the sanitary sewer system.

Learn more about I&I and preventative maintenance here!