Cleaning Sewer Drain Pipes By Hydro Jetting
Pipe cleaning is commonly performed by high pressure jetting or sewer jetting. High pressure jetting is the application of a stream of high pressured water for use within pipes for cleaning & debris removal. Water at the correct high pressure (4000 psi-18gpm) can cut roots, dissolve blockages, liquefy grease and soaps while spray washing pipe wall surfaces. As part of the jetting process, the water from the nozzle can also wash away accumulated sand or debris on the bottom of the pipe at the same time.
People with old growth trees and shrubs near or around they exterior sewer lines are very susceptible to root infiltration and may want to start a hydro jetting maintenance plan once a year.
For sewer jetting, a jetting nozzle is attached to the end of a length of high pressure hose with the other end is connected to a high pressure pump. Jetting nozzles have small precision machined orifices (or jets) to restrict water flow from the pump thus causing high pressure to build within hose. As the pressurized water is expelled from the nozzle jets it reverts from pressure to velocity (speed) creating thrust that allows the nozzle to pull the jetting hose. Pressurized water expelled from the nozzle jets cleans debris, removes pipe blockages or roots from the inside of the pipe while traveling through the pipedown stream to catch basin or storm drain. Optimum cleaning is achieved when the hose is being rewound (pulled back) onto the hydraulic reel. During this action, water from the nozzle jets effectively forms a curtain or wall of high pressure water that forces (or rakes) the debris downstream. Sewer technology can be applied to clean all size pipe diameters with the appropriate size of high pressure jetting unit.
Pipes that should be cleaned by high pressure jetting are:
- Sanitary or Mainline Sewers: Located under streets and roads that connect building laterals to a municipal wastewater treatment plants for treatment. Wastewater flows freely down stream through sewers via gravity. Sewers are connected at various intervals by manholes that in some applications will allow for a change of direction of wastewater flow. Municipal sewers can range in size from pipes as small as 6 inches and increasing in diameter as more laterals (sections) connect to the system. Sewer blockages can form as a result of root infiltration from old growth trees and shrubs, grease buildup, and debris accumulation. Blockages can also occur from pipe failure or collapse due to old age and lack of maintenance . Private sanitary wastewater collection systems of similar construction can be found on private property connecting buildings in apartment and office complexes, universities that ultimately discharge into a municipal wastewater systems too.
- Sewer laterals – Pipes that connect building drainage systems to municipal sewers, considered to be part of the property and the responsibility of the property owner. Typically, laterals are 4″ & 6″ diameter pipes that connect directly to municipal sewer pipelines, but can be larger for commercial or industrial buildings. Lateral blockages can form as a result of root infiltration form old growth trees and shrubs, grease build up, and debris accumulation. Blockages can also occur from pipe failure or collapse also.
- Drains – Drainage pipes are located under or within buildings residential and commercial, considered to be part of the property and the responsibility of the property owner. Drains in buildings can range in sizes from 2″ to 6″ diameters (typically) that normally contain “Tees” or “Elbows” for wastewater directional changes. Drain blockages can form as a result of food grease buildup, soap residue buildup, dirt and debris accumulation.
- Storm Drains – Pipes that are limited to the collections and control of rainwater. Rainwater can be collected and directly diverted to streams or rivers without passing through a water treatment plant. Storm drain blockages are very common and can form as a result of root infiltration, silt, dirt and debris accumulation. Blockages can also occur from pipe failure or collapse also.
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