Main Line Cleaning

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The sewer main lines are the backbone of SacSewer’s system. It’s important that these lines remain clear to allow sewage to be transported out of neighborhoods without service failures.

When is main line cleaning necessary?

Not all main lines require cleaning, but some main lines have been identified as having conditions that require ongoing maintenance activity—usually cleaning—at specific frequencies to ensure that the flow through these larger lines is not obstructed. Effective main line cleaning prevents buildup in the lines that could lead to blockages.

How is main line cleaning done?

The crews that do main line cleaning use special large “hydrovac” trucks equipped with a large water tank, a water pump and hydraulic hose for pressurized spraying, and a telescopic suction hose for vacuuming debris. When crews clean a main line, they insert their equipment through manholes and simultaneously hydro-flush and vacuum back any flushed materials—including grease and solids. The trucks carry a wide variety of specialty nozzles to remove and clean various all kinds of we may find in the sewer pipe.

What are the impacts to customers?

Because main line cleanings are done mostly in the street, the impacts to customers are generally minimal. Safety measures may include traffic controls (e.g., cones, flaggers, etc.), but through-traffic is usually allowed, and access to properties is not typically impeded. Impacts are temporary, as cleaning a section of main line not does not usually take long to complete. Once a section is done, the crew moves on to the next adjacent section or another assignment elsewhere.

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