Best Practices: Sewer Drain Cleaning

Best Practices: Sewer Drain Cleaning

Published on August 31 , 2019

Whether part of a municipal sewer system or residential household, sewer lines become clogged. Sink drains blacked, bathtube drain clogs, and complete backups happen.

To maintain its proper function, a sewer system needs a cleaning schedule. There are several cleaning techniques used to clear blockages and to act as preventative maintenance tools. When cleaning sewer lines, local communities need to be aware of EPA regulations on solid and hazardous waste as defined in 40 CFR 261. In order to comply with state guidelines on testing and disposal of hazardous waste, check with the local authorities.

Technology Uses and Applications
  • Uses drive unit with continuous or sectional rods
  • Blades rotate to break up grease, roots, and debris
  • Effect in lines up to 12" in diameter
Bucket Machine
  • Cylindrical devised, closed on one end with two opposing, hinged jaws
  • Jaws scrape walls of pipe and deposit debris into bucket
  • Removes large deposits of silt, sand, gravel, and solid waste
  • Threaded rubber ball that spins and scrubs pipe as flow increases
  • Removes settled inorganic material and grease
  • Most effective in lines between 5"-24"
  • Heavy flow of water sent into line at manhole
  • Removes floatables, sand, and grit
  • Effective when used in combination with other mechanical operations
  • Directs high velocities of water against pipe walls
  • Removes debris, grease, blockages, and roots in small diameter sewers
  • Diagram below

The ideal method of reducing and controlling the materials found in sewer lines is education and pollution prevention. Common household substances such as grease and oil need to be disposed in the garbage in closed containers, and not into the sewer lines. This approach will not only minimize a homeowner’s plumbing problems, but will also help keep the sewer lines clear.

A water hydro jet is a tool used to clean dirty and clogged sewer and water lines. The jetter is attached to the end of a pressurized waterline, no different than a typical power washer hose. However, attached to the end of the line is a specialized tip (A Jetter Head) spinning and propelling the water. 

Water sprays at in high pressure streams from two places on the jetter head. First, water is sprayed throught the tip, straight out infront to cut debris and other obstructions. Second, water is sprayed from several angled jets in the back of the jetter head. This causes the jetter head to rapidly spin, cut and clean debris, and pull itself through the pipe. All dirt and debris or cleared and forced back out of the pipe from the water jets.


diagram of sewer jetter for drain cleaning

A jetter is commonly used to clearn line blockages ranging from house hold wasteproduct build up (i.e. toliet paper, rags), to the most stubborn blockages such as immense root intrusion. 





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