Sewer Line Maintenance

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.
  • Vandalizing the system by putting foreign or incompatible materials in sewer pipes or manholes.
  • Disposing of grease, paper, garbage or household hazardous waste (HHW) down the drain. Defend Your Drains at all times from unwanted items that can potentially cause harmful sewer backups into the homes.
  • Scrape all food scraps and grease solids into the trash. Pour cooled cooking oils and grease into container that can be sealed, then place into the trash. Wipe all fat, oils, and grease off of cooking utensils, dishes, and pots and pans with a paper towel and dispose into the trash before washing in the sink.

Are you doing your part to defend your drains from damage? Learn how improper disposal of wipes, cleaning supplies, and grease can create costly problems in this informative video. You can also visit the North Texas Municipal Water District's website to learn how to protect pipes from wipes, grease and chemicals.

Preventative Maintenance

Ongoing investigation and care helps the Wastewater Division maximize system performance and prevent repairs. Preventative maintenance may include the following procedures.

Visual Inspection

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.
Smoke Testing
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.