Keeping city sewers flowing
Keeping the city’s sanitary sewer system running smoothly requires a preventative maintenance program that focuses on regular cleaning and inspections to identify issues before they become big problems.
The Public Works Department cleans (otherwise known as jetting) all of the city sewer main lines every three years. In 2020, city crews will jet more than 272,000 feet of lines, removing potential debris that could clog the lines.
The city also inspects its pipes with a camera televising system every 10 years to identify buildups of grease; broken, sagging or cracked pipes; and offset joints.
Televising can also detect potential issues with inflow (when clean water from sump pumps and drain spouts is illegally discharged into the sewer system) and infiltration (when groundwater seeps into sewer pipes via cracks or leaky joints). These pose issues because excess clear water uses sanitary sewer capacity needed for wastewater, resulting in the potential of backups and increased treatment costs. Recently, city crews identified inflow and infiltration issues in manholes near the Minnesota River, which they were able to seal, saving the city money from excess water in the line.
Another potential issue with sewer lines is the buildup of hydrogen sulfide. This colorless gas, known for its rotten egg order, can cause scaling of the pipes. The city has used a variety of products, including an epoxy coat to some success, to prevent the deterioration.
Residents also play an important role in keeping the sanitary sewer system flowing by being mindful of what they flush and dump down the drain. Never flush anything but body waste, pet feces or toilet paper down a toilet. Do not put grease or oil down your drains.
For more information about the city's sanitary sewer system and what you can do to prevent backups, visit www.ShakopeeMN.gov/publicworks.