Sewer Buildup: How To Build Up and Unclog Your Storm and Sanitary Lines

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Evan Mowbray

Sewer Buildup: How To Build Up and Unclog Your Storm and Sanitary Lines

Sewer buildup is when too much material builds up in a pipe, blocking proper flow of wastewater. It is a common issue for sewers, both sanitary and storm. It can be easy to ignore these buildups until they become an issue. These issues can range from flooding, foul smells, and slower to no drainage. These issues can also result in health issues due to bacteria in sewer waste. Addressing these issues may seem daunting if you’re encountering them for the first time. Sewer buildup can occur through a multitude of means, and may require additional maintenance if left untreated. Let’s discuss the various causes of sewer buildup and how to restore your sewers to working conditions.

An image of two Trinity Subsurface technicians attaching a hydro jetting nozzle to clear out a sewer pipe in Delaware.

Many things get flushed down sewers, including grease, food, hair, sanitary wipes, paper, and various other oddities. There are also a number of materials that are not flushable, meaning they won’t break up in the sewer system. If you flush enough paper towels and sanitary wipes that don’t dissolve, you’ll end up with buildup in a main sewer line. The best way to prevent this kind of buildup is to be more mindful of what you’re putting down the drain and inspecting pipes. 

Extreme rain can also result in buildup. Rains and floods can move dirt, sediment and other materials into sewer systems that will eventually result in buildup. Extreme weather conditions may result in pipe damages that could result in pipe buildups and other infiltration issues. Growth of roots into pipes can also result in root buildup. These roots can block the flow of water, acting as an internal dam. Roots can be treated with chemicals, but it may result in environmental damage depending on the surrounding ecosystem. Drain clogs may be confused for sewer buildup,with simple clogs only blocking flow of one section of drainage pipe compared to a full sewer system blockage. If removing drain buildup doesn’t result in the issue being solved, it might be a sign of a larger issue.

Hydro jetting is one of the most common ways to remove sewer buildup. Using a highly pressurized nozzle, heavy blasts of water are pushed through the sewer pipe to remove buildup, debris, and grease. The specialized nozzle head results in a precise and accurate way to remove anything blocking proper flow. The use of water results in an environmentally-friendly method for clearing out pipes without damaging nearby ecosystems. These buildups are broken-apart by the heavy pressures and pushed out of the pipe and collected for proper disposal.

An image of a before and after cleaning of a concrete sewer pipe full of sediment buildup.

Video pipe inspection is also important in determining the extent of pipe buildup. Video pipe inspection can be used in a variety of pipes. A baseline CCTV inspection of sewer lines can determine the needs for any required cleaning, finding the exact location of the buildup. After buildup is cleared out through hydro jetting, a post-cleaning CCTV inspection can determine the extent of any pipe damages that could lead to further issues and how to address them to prevent further issues.

If you need pipe rehabilitation services, including pipe cleaning, CCTV video pipe inspections, or pipe lining, our team at Trinity Subsurface, LLC has you covered. Visit our website to find out more about the services we provide and how we can help restore the proper flow of your pipes.

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