Keep My Sewer Line Healthy:

Keep My Sewer Line (Lateral) Healthy!

PLSD routinely maintains our sewer mains to keep them flowing freely. We periodically televise-inspect and clean the lines on a scheduled basis. But did you know that there are some things that you too can do to maintain your sewer lateral?

Do:
  1. Ask a plumber about preventative maintenance on problem sewer lines

  2. Call PLSD if you have any questions about your sewer line

  3. Use only a licensed contractor to make necessary repairs, if the work is not done by PLSD

  4. Consider installing a backflow preventer to prevent flooding in your building

  5. Recycle oil, paint, and other toxic materials at a recycling center

Don't:
  1. Put grease or eggshells down drains or in garbage disposals

  2. Plant a tree directly over a sewer line. Roots can be problematic

  3. Dig without calling Underground Service Alert at 811  

  4. Proceed automatically with an expensive repair. Always get a second opinion (three estimates are best)

  5. Use an unlicensed, unknown contractor to make repairs

  6. Forget to locate cleanout in front of building, prior to having a stoppage

  7. Pour anything toxic down the sewer or storm drain

  8. Open a manhole for any reason. PLSD will do this for you

Don't Flush Wipes:

Save your pipes. Don't flush wipes 


Many household cleaning products are labeled and marketed as disposable; many baby hygiene products are labeled both disposable and flushable. And while these products may be marketed as a convenience item, the truth is that these household wipes can clog and stop up not only your sewer pipes, but also can cause blockage and service problems in PLSD’s sewer system and pump stations. 

 

Unlike toilet paper, these products don't break down once they are flushed. They can cause blockages in your on-site side sewer, especially older pipelines that may have grease, roots, or other obstructions already existing. Eliminating these problems from your sewer pipes can leave you with a nasty repair bill. 

 

On a larger scale, when these products make their way into the public sewer system they collect together and cause clogs in PLSD's sewer main lines and get tangled in pump stations requiring repair or possibly even expensive replacement of equipment.

 

The following items should never be flushed into the sewer system:

 

  • Disinfecting wipes 

  • Baby wipes 

  • Q-tips

  • Toilet cleaning pads

  • Mop or "Swifter" type refills

  • Paper towels

  • Moist towelettes

  • Any consumer item that is not toilet paper

Are Flushible Wipes Really "Flushible"?

There are many relatively new bathroom products on the market today that are advertised as a better cleaning experience when compared to traditional toilet paper. These products' labels indicate they are safe for sewers. In addition to wipes, there are also other cleaning products that are labeled as "flushable" which may go down the toilet, but they are not breaking down sufficiently enough. 

 

Flushable wipes are marketed in a variety of ways, such as "septic-safe", "breaks down like toilet paper" or "safe for sewer and septic." The problem is that they generally take longer to break down when compared to traditional toilet paper and as a result have caused major blockages in sewer systems.

 

Consumer Reports conducted a test to determine if flushable wipes really are flushable. Check out this video to see the results.

 

Generally, sewer systems work on a gravity or downhill system. However, Pickerel Lake has several areas that are mostly level, making it necessary for PLSD to run on a pump system. While a flushable wipe might break down after flushing it is likely that it will not break down fast enough before the wipes make it to the first pumping station within PLSD's sewer lines. Even if it does break down into smaller pieces, those thicker-than-toilet-paper chunks can also become stuck in the pumps and leave a big mess. Therefore, PLSD is asking that you please do not flush any kind of wipes down the toilet. 

 

Currently PLSD employees are cleaning pumps of wipe debris frequently and ultimately . That is a lot of employee hours spent on cleaning up something that is eventually just going to end up in the trash anyway. So please save us the extra work and the spending of ratepayer dollars by tossing the wipes in the garbage after use.

Call Justin Carlson, PLSD System Manager, to report or discuss any sewer issues or questions at (605) 467-1503.