Every home is connected to either a public sewer or a private septic system. Each system’s lateral line can clog or break for a variety of reasons. For purposes of this discussion, public sewage lines will be considered.
Each house is connected to the public sewer main by a lateral pipe. The wastewater is carried to a wastewater (or sewage) treatment plant before being either introduced back into the potable water system or disposed into the natural estuaries. The most common causes for lateral pipe blockage or break are:
1. Tree Roots
Although your sewage line may have been placed perfectly during construction, over time, landscape features change. Tree roots naturally seek out water sources, and tend to migrate to water and wastewater lines. Without tree root barrier to protect sewer lines, nearby tree roots can infiltrate the line. This infiltration can cause the lateral to collapse if left unmanaged. There are temporary measures to return sewage flow, but the only permanent solution is either removal of the tree or replacement of the lateral, using a root barrier to avoid future infiltration.
Kitchen waste is the most common cause for grease blockage in a sewer line. Repeated disposal of grease down the kitchen sink, garbage disposal or the dishwasher will ultimately congeal in the wastewater lines. Installing a grease trap is recommended for restaurants or homes that dispose of large quantities of grease. It is strongly advised that you minimize disposal of grease in the sewer line to prevent blockages.
3. Feminine Sanitary Products
Sewer lines are designed to handle toilet paper and human waste only! Flushing sanitary napkins, tampons or paper towels can cause serious blockage and damage to your lateral sewer connection. Additionally, plastic tampon applicators that make it into the public sewer lines complicate the treatment process. Never flush anything but toilet paper and human waste!
4. Check Valves/Back-flow Preventers
Occasionally, the check valve (back-flow preventer) in the lateral line will fail; which will stop sewage flow. Inspection and repair/replacement of the faulty valve must be performed by a certified technician from Port Coquitlam Plumbing Experts Highmark Plumbing.
Installing a root barrier system during initial construction of a home or business will prevent root infiltration in the future. Grease disposal should be eliminated barring a grease trap to avoid clogging the lateral. Forbid flushing of anything but toilet paper and feces (human or animal) down toilets to reduce foreign matter plugging the lateral. It is not uncommon for sewer laterals to collapse with age; but with proper care, the life of your lateral will be extended.