Homeowner's Guide to Sewer Lines

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Prevent Clogged Drains!  Some homes in Cheyenne have sewer lines plug frequently.  Here are a few tips to help you keep your drain running freely within your home.  

1. Have an annual root maintenance program. Tree/shrub roots seek out sewer lines because any crack or loose joint in the pipe will allow water vapors to escape. The roots then seek out that moisture along the outside of the sewer pipe, continue growing, and when the roots find the weak spot (joint or crack) it dives down into the sewer pipe.  Sewers contain moisture, nutrients and oxygen. Once in the sewer lines, the roots will grow down the sewer lines, eventually plugging the lines. Contact your plumber or local hardware store for the best ways to prevent/control roots from plugging your sewer lines. Also, ask how frequently the recommended root control method must be repeated to keep roots out of the sewer lines.

2. Don’t Dump It- Collect Grease. Never pour fats, oil or grease (FOG) down sinks, toilets or drains. Once grease cools, it congeals and will start to form a clog. Collect fats, oil, or grease in a container and throw it in the trash.  

3. Catch hair/lint before it reaches the drain. Use a mesh screen before the hair can travel down the drain.  If possible, attach an old stocking or pantyhose to the end of the clothes washer discharge hose to collect lint. 

4. Collect your food waste. Grinding up food in a disposal might be a convenience but can clog drains. Either compost your organic waste or put it in the trash. Better yet, remove your garbage disposal now, or when it breaks, to avoid the temptation to use it. 

5. Clear your drains. Monthly pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. Following the hot water, pour equal amounts of baking soda and vinegar into the drain. Cover the drain plug and wait 5-10 minutes. Flush the drain with another pot of boiling water.  

6. Your toilet isn’t a trash can! Wipes clog pipes!  Wipes are not flushable, they do NOT break down.  Flush only the 3 P’s down the toilet: Pee, pooh and toilet paper. Everything else goes in the trash can. 

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What we do to prevent sewer backups

The Board of Public Utilities has a maintenance program for our sewer mains.  We:  

  • Inspect sewer mains to identify problems, correct issues and make repairs.  

  • Operate sewer jet trucks. These trucks use high pressure water and root cutters to clean sewer mains. Crews clean around 100 miles of sewer mains each year. The trucks respond to sewer calls and are used to restore sewer flow in the main. 

  • Hire root control specialists to treat roots from Cheyenne's sewer mains. 

  • Routinely clean and maintain sewer lift stations, which are used to  pump sewage from lower elevation areas. 

  • Replace or rehabilitate up to 3 miles of sewer mains each year.