City will begin jetting sewer lines

The City of Elk River’s waste water treatment plant will begin jetting sewer lines the end of April as part of its routine maintenance. Jetting will occur throughout the city Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for approximately five months.

Approximately one-half of the city’s sanitary sewer lines are cleaned each year and those requiring a higher level of maintenance are cleaned more frequently. Routine maintenance helps to prevent blockages and backups.

The sanitary sewer lines are cleaned using high performance sewer cleaning equipment. A cleaning nozzle is propelled from one manhole to the next using water under high pressure. The nozzle is then pulled back to the starting manhole. As the nozzle is pulled back, water scours the inside of the sanitary sewer pipe. Any debris in the pipe is pulled back with the water. The debris is removed from the manhole with a vacuum unit. If roots are found, they are cut with a root cutter. This process is repeated on every sewer line cleaned.

During the cleaning of sanitary sewer lines, air occasionally vents into a home through the sanitary sewer service line and ventilation system. When this happens, water in the toilet bowl can bubble or surge, or in rare instances, splash out of the bowl. Please note that any water coming from this type of incident is from the bowl itself. During the jetting period please check your sewer vents to ensure they are clear and keep the lid of your toilet down to minimize the potential of any water splashing from your toilet. It is also helpful to pour a pitcher of water down basement floor drains when the jet truck passes your home. This can help prevent sewer gas from entering through the drain. The common causes of air venting into homes during sanitary sewer cleaning are: air movement from normal cleaning operations, the use of higher pressure needed when cleaning sanitary sewer lines with a steep slope, sewer lines running close to the building, a plugged roof vent, and the size and complexity of the home’s waste and ventilation system.

If you have further questions, contact the waste water treatment plant at 763-635-1170.