General Sewer Information for Residents

Rocky River Wastewater Treatment Plant's 2013 Annual Sanitary Sewer Overflow Report from the cities of Bay Village, Fairview Park, Westlake and Rocky River has been released. Click here to view the Bay Village report. For the Rocky River, Fairview Park, or Westlake reports please contact Service Department Director, Scott Thomas at sthomas@cityofbayvillage.com.

 

EPA sewer letter posted April 2015

 

This list of general information and definitions has been compiled to educate residents about their sewer system: how it functions, how to quickly identify a problem, tips for protecting their property and what to do in the event of a back up.  Each homeowner can have different combinations of issues that affect whether or not basements back up.  We hope that this information will help you to better understand your sewer system.  If you experience any problems or have any questions, please call the Bay Village Service Department at 871-1221.  Non-emergency after hours calls (440)871-1221.

 

A Message from the Mayor 9/24/15

Sewers:  Since last summer's flooding, the Sewer Crews have responded to 227 homes, cleaned 11,785 private laterals, flushed 10,141 feet of storm lines, 10,500 of sanitary lines, and cleaned 354 feet in the Lake/Bradley intersection.  Additionally, the crews have filmed 1980 feet of main sanitary, 10,141 feet of main storm lines, and 640 feet of private laterals.  We also contracted to have 8,850 feet of the Wolf Road sanitary cleaned.  We found rocks, bricks, a mop head, underwear, concrete, and grease in the mains that were cleaned.  Our work continues and hat's off to our Sewer Crews for aggressively tackling issues.  Again, here is a list of Do's and Don'ts to maintain the health of your sanitary and storm sewer systems:

DO:

·       Have your system snaked by a plumber annually to remove roots that can quickly grow and block lines.  Many plumbers provide annual maintenance contracts-easy peasy and cost effective!

·       Consider disconnecting downspouts to remove storm water from the footer drain tile or to eliminate storm water from your sanitary line, a major cause of sanitary backups in older homes.  Good options are rain barrels or downspouts extensions that direct water to your yard.  Note:  Extensions need to deposit water at least 5 feet from the foundation.  All runoff from your home needs to be contained in your yard.

·       Clean out and cover basement window wells with plastic covers to prevent water from running down the foundation of your home.

·       Keep gutters clean to prevent overflows.

·       Use liquid detergent to prevent detergent blocks in sewer lines.

·       Run water in your garbage disposal for a full minute after use to flush any remains through the system.

·       Grade landscaping properly to encourage rainwater to drain away from the house.

DON'Ts:

·       DO NOT pour grease down your sink or garbage disposal!  This can cause grease blockages in the city sewers.  Pour it an old can or container and throw it away.

DO NOT use the dishwasher, washer, or garbage disposal during heavy rain events.

DO NOT ignore the proper maintenance of your sewer system

 

 

Click here for brochure on MITIGATING WET OR FLOODED BASEMENTS

 

Emergency:

Do not enter standing water in your basement!   If you get water in your basement call Bay Service at 871-1221 (M-F 7A.M. to 3:30 P.M.) or the Police department non-emergency line at 871-1234 (evenings and weekends).



 Sewer Camera Truck Our crew in action with the camera truck.



Definitions:

       Sanitary sewer lateral-this line conveys water from all the fixtures inside your home (i.e. - toilets, showers, sinks, etc.)  This is your part of the wastewater collection system that runs to the Rocky River Wastewater Treatment Plant. 

 

     Storm sewer lateral-this line conveys water from the exterior of the home (downspouts, yard drains, etc.) to the City storm sewers and, eventually, to Lake Erie. 

     *An easy way to remember the difference between sanitary and storm lines is "Drain and Rain".  Drain for sanitary.  Rain for storm.

 

     Test T (Riser or Cleanout)-this is the access pipe attached to every sanitary and storm lateral.  They rise vertically from the lateral and allow the inspection and cleaning of your lateral lines.  Other Test T's can be located in the basement of a home.  Often they are a brass, plastic or cast iron cap located on the wastewater stack.

 

     Trap-this is a J-bend present in all interior plumbing (i.e.-sinks, toilets, showers, etc.).  It is designed to keep sewer gases from entering your home.

 

     Sump Pump-this device is usually located in a crock in the basement floor.  The sump collects water from the footer drains below the foundation and pumps the water to the storm lateral.

 

     Footer-these are pipes laid at the bottom of the foundation (where the walls and floor meet).  They are designed to collect any water that flows toward the foundation before it can enter your basement.

 

     Check Valve-this device is installed on the sanitary lateral (either in the basement floor or at the test t) to mechanically prevent backup from the sanitary main in the street.

What to look for:

 

If you notice a strong sewer smell in your home, this could indicate a dry trap on a sink or basement floor drain.  Running water into each drain will fill the trap and eliminate the odor.  If you notice any unusual gurgling noise or a drain is running slowly, you may be experiencing the beginning of a blockage.  Call Bay Service to check the main line.  If clear water is entering through the walls or cracks in the floor, this is an indication of a waterproofing issue, a blocked footer or a blockage in the storm lateral.  If you have trees in your front yard, be aware that the root system extends out as far as the widest part of the canopy.  Roots tend to seek out "the path of least resistance" to supply the tree with water.  This occurs often with the sanitary and storm laterals.  Slow sanitary laterals can also experience back up from detergents used for laundry.  The detergents build up in the line, reducing the size of the pipe. 

 

Items to protect your property:

 

  • Have a plumber's name and number.  The City of Bay Village has a list of licensed and insured plumbers available at the Building Department at City Hall.
  • Make sure power strips are up off the floor and secured.  Power strips can continue to function--even under water.
  • Storage items should be placed on shelves in plastic containers.  Cardboard boxes absorb water and odors.
  • Make sure your gutters are cleaned once a year.
  • Grade planting beds away from the house foundation.  Water should flow at least 3 feet away from the foundation.
  • Periodically check and clear debris from any yard or driveway drains on your property.  This will ensure that they flow properly.
  • If you have a catch basin in the street near your home, take a moment to clear debris from the top.  If the basin needs attention, call Bay Service.
  • If you have a garbage disposal, make sure to run water for 3 to 5 minutes after disposing of food.  This will ensure that waste does not build up in your sanitary lateral.  Use ice cubes to sharpen the blades on your disposal.
  • Never dispose of fats, oils and grease (FOG's) down the drain.  They tend to coagulate within laterals and the city sanitary main lines and are the primary cause of back ups.  

 

Emergency:

Do not enter standing water in your basement!   If you get water in your basement call Bay Service at 871-1221 (M-F 7A.M. to 3:30 P.M.) or the Police department non-emergency line at 871-1234 (evenings and weekends).

For purposes of cleanup after a backup, it is recommended that a homeowner use 1 cup of bleach in a bucket of water to disinfect their basement. 

Consider the entire sewer system (laterals and mainlines) as a circulatory system.  Smaller pipes flow to bigger pipes that eventually flow to the heart (i.e. - the Rocky River Treatment Plant).  Our sewer system can experience stress just like the human circulatory system.  The different parts all affect how the other parts function.  By implementing some of these ideas to protect your own property, you also ensure the health of the entire system and help to protect your neighbors from basement flooding.

Sewers:  Since last summer's flooding, the Sewer Crews have responded to 227 homes, cleaned 11,785 private laterals, flushed 10,141 feet of storm lines, 10,500 of sanitary lines, and cleaned 354 feet in the Lake/Bradley intersection.  Additionally, the crews have filmed 1980 feet of main sanitary, 10,141 feet of main storm lines, and 640 feet of private laterals.  We also contracted to have 8,850 feet of the Wolf Road sanitary cleaned.  We found rocks, bricks, a mop head, underwear, concrete, and grease in the mains that were cleaned.  Our work continues and hat's off to our Sewer Crews for aggressively tackling issues.  Again, here is a list of Do's and Don'ts to maintain the health of your sanitary and storm sewer systems:

DO:

·         Have your system snaked by a plumber annually to remove roots that can quickly grow and block lines.  Many plumbers provide annual maintenance contracts-easy peasy and cost effective!

·         Consider disconnecting downspouts to remove storm water from the footer drain tile or to eliminate storm water from your sanitary line, a major cause of sanitary backups in older homes.  Good options are rain barrels or downspouts extensions that direct water to your yard.  Note:  Extensions need to deposit water at least 5 feet from the foundation.  All runoff from your home needs to be contained in your yard.

·         Clean out and cover basement window wells with plastic covers to prevent water from running down the foundation of your home.

·         Keep gutters clean to prevent overflows.

·         Use liquid detergent to prevent detergent blocks in sewer lines.

·         Run water in your garbage disposal for a full minute after use to flush any remains through the system.

·         Grade landscaping properly to encourage rainwater to drain away from the house.

DON'Ts:

·         DO NOT pour grease down your sink or garbage disposal!  This can cause grease blockages in the city sewers.  Pour it an old can or container and throw it away.

·         DO NOT use the dishwasher, washer, or garbage disposal during heavy rain events.

DO NOT ignore the proper maintenance of your sewer system