Keep Your Sewer Lines Free and Clear

Industrial Pipe Cleaning

Industrial Pipe Cleaning

Industrial sewer pipes or drain lines carry waste from a building to the sewer main, which often runs parallel to the road or directly underneath. This is how sewage and wastewater gets to the wastewater plant to be processed. Generally, these systems use gravity to keep the waste flowing along, but if the waste station is located on an elevation above your building then pump stations are used to keep the sewage flowing along the whole routes since gravity is no longer works as an advantage.

Due to the great distance between your facility and the wastewater treatment plant, manholes are employed for easy access along the entire length of the main sewer lines for inspection and repair purposes. Sewer lines can also get backed up, or clogged, if they aren’t being maintained properly. Common issues include blockages from grease, food scraps, various paper products, and tree roots. Other times general debris from careless habits can also cause issues in sewer lines.

Sometimes industrial buildings, factories, and plants have a hard time maintaining their sewer system. Whether it’s from lack of budgetary constraints or simple neglect, when dealing with the system having a blockage or a broken pipe, industrial settings have a bit more of complicated job in front of them. It's not as easy as dealing with similar residential or commercial plumbing issues.

When a plant, hospital, or factory is facing a sewer pipeline issue, dealing with employees, customers, and even strictly regulated OSHA requirements can lead to an endless burden of increased time and costs. But as with most things, proper maintenance and servicing on a regular schedule can dramatically increase the life of a sewer system and can help prevent costly and time-consuming repairs before they happen.

There are many parts to properly maintaining a sewage system. First, you have the upper lateral, which is also called the sanitary lateral. This lateral line runs from a building to the property line. From the property line, the lower lateral runs to the main line. Both laterals together make up the sanitary sewer.

The sanitary sewer system is how waste products are transported to a water treatment processing plant. The system as a whole is basically a collection system, which also uses various basin systems and drains as well, although catch basins have been phased out for use in modern systems.

The collections systems used in an industrial sanitary sewer are an extensive but integral part of the entire sewer infrastructure. The proper functioning of these collection and waste systems help keep the general public healthy and free from disease.

Common Issues with Industrial Drain and Sewer Lines

Corroding Cast Iron Pipe

Since maintenance is a key factor in keeping industrial sewer lines flowing, here are some common problems that occur with sewer system:

One of the biggest culprits in industrial sewer line issues is tree roots. Tree roots naturally look for and seek out moisture. Because of this they will push through the smallest imaginable hole or crack seeking water of any kind. Roots will eventually compromise the structural integrity of a line. They can also create blockages, either partial or completely, depending on the line size in comparison to the size of the root.

Cracked pipes are another major issue. Roots aren’t the only offenders when it comes to creating cracks in industrial sewer lines. Corrosion also causes cracks as well. Corrosion from hydrogen sulfide created from the breakdown of organic matter contained in waste slowly eats away at the pipes.

The third commonly found problem in sewer lines is blockage. Grease, paper products, and organic matter can build up over time and create blockages in.

Inspecting Industrial Sewer Lines

There are several issues that need immediate attention when it comes to maintaining your sewer system. Sewer backups, slow flows are usually the main offenders that need to be addressed that produce visible symptoms such as backed up drains or toilets that don’t flush properly. Inspection generally consists of using a CCTV system either by a push camera or a camera mounted on a robot crawler to see inside sewer and drain lines.

A CCTV inspection is considered generally to be the most accurate way to quickly identify issues and defects in the sewer. The cameras used create excellent quality video and pictures to help determine the health of the pipes and the system as a whole.

Smoke testing is another service that can be performed to help determine the location of cracks and leaks in a sewer system. Smoke testing is a very simple and easy to understand test. Artificial smoke is forced into a pipe that’s blocked off in the sewer line. This creates pressure, which pushes the smoke throughout the entire system.

If there are no issues in the sewer lines the smoke emerges through vents and other access points throughout the system. However, if cracks or leaks are present the smoke escapes through those areas and won’t exit through the normal exit points.

Industrial Sewer Maintenance Pro Tip

One of the most important things an industrial building owner can do to lengthen the service time for a sewer and drain system is to follow a regular cleaning schedule. This helps keep the entire system functioning properly and efficiently. There are multiple cleaning options and techniques to ensure your system is free from blockages while also performing preventative maintenance at the same time.

Industrial Pipe Cleaning

Methods such as testing and inspection are used in order to help develop a regular schedule of maintenance. Proper care and maintenance is vital for the waste-water collection systems to function correctly.

Testing and maintenance methods such as, a regular cleaning schedule, a smoke test, and a TV inspection are all parts of a proper preventative maintenance plan example.

Scheduling a regular professional drain line cleaning from a plumber like Advanced Plumbing Technology, who specializes in industrial plumbing, is always a good idea. Grease and oil can build up in your pipes. Food waste can also get trapped in the lines. By spending a little on clearing out build-up, you avoid costly repairs.

Regular and proper maintenance of your drains and sewer system will ensure the full intended life span of your system. Preventive maintenance is a mandatory to prevent your industrial sewer system from having an early demise. Monthly grease flushes, cleaning catch basins, flushing sanitary sewers and drains, all need to be incorporated into your regular maintenance program. If you would like to learn more information about Advanced Plumbing Technology and how we can help you maintain your plumbing system click here.

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