City of Leduc Public Services crews respond to about 120 residential sewer backup calls annually.
Please note: the city estimates the actual number of residential sewer backups is about 500 per year. Most residents call a plumber to unclog their pipes. In those situations, the city is typically not notified of the issue.
When city crews are called, they:
- conduct a mechanical cleaning of the line,
- inspect the line by camera, and
- apply a herbicide in the line to fight tree roots (when applicable).
These actions may be performed together or separately.
Flushing city mains
Each year, City of Leduc crews flush half of the city’s mains with high-pressure water or mechanical blades driven by high-pressure water. In 2018, crews are working on the west side of the city.
Regularly flushing out the sanitary sewer (wastewater) collection system with hydrovac trucks helps keep the system operating efficiently. Flushing helps clean and remove foreign materials including:
- FOG (fats, oils and grease),
- wipes (even those labeled as flushable),
- rocks, dirt and tree roots, and
- other non-flushables.
The goal of the sanitary sewer flushing program is to minimize service calls and sewer backups caused by sewer main blockages. Success of the program depends on the care and participation of Leduc residents.
It’s simple: Flush smarter. Flush only the 3Ps and dispose of everything else in your waste or organics cart.
Please note: Sewer main flushing can cause pressure fluctuations in your sewer pipes, potentially sucking out the water in p-traps. Simply fill your p-traps with water to eliminate the smell.
Inspecting city mains
Each main is inspected every five years by a camera lowered into the sewer main network. The camera check is an efficient way to determine whether the pipe is in good condition and help identify what is required to extend its lifespan. Options include repairing damage, replacing damaged sections or installing pipe liners.
Areas in the city that are determined to be more susceptible to sanitary sewer problems may be flushed more often than others.
Without the city’s maintenance program, clay and concrete pipes could be expected to have a lifespan of about 50 years. The lifespan of plastic pipes is about 100 years. To extend the lifespan of the city system, crews often install liners in the mains.
Removing tree roots
The city’s routine maintenance program includes the removal of tree roots in sanitary sewer mains. If left undisturbed, these tree roots will completely block the sewer causing sewer backup. Tree roots thrive in the warm, moist sanitary sewer mains that are full of nutrients trees need. As tree roots expand, they can cause breaks and large cracks in the sanitary sewer lines which significantly decreases the integrity of the pipe.