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City of Carrollton Prioritizes Health and Safety of Citizens Through Maintenance of Sanitary Sewer Lines

Post Date:04/24/2019 5:41 PM
With recent instances of heavy rainfall, the City of Carrollton wishes to remind citizens of its commitment to effectively maintain its 430 miles of public sanitary sewer lines and 5,947 manholes to help prevent sanitary sewer overflows (SSO). 

Sanitary sewer systems collect and transport domestic, commercial, and industrial wastewater to treatment facilities. Creek bank failure due to heavy rainfall is a common cause of SSO, as the large amount of pressure on the pipes can cause the line to break and overflow. SSO can contaminate our waters, kill fish, cause serious water quality problems and economic loss, and result in property damage and public health impacts. 

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates there are at least 23,000 SSO per year in the U.S., but Carrollton is proud that in the past 10 years, there have only been 13 overflows in the City caused by heavy rains in which the Trinity River Authority (TRA) Plant was over capacity. Five of those overflows occurred in May 2015 when Carrollton experienced heavy flooding.

“Carrollton strives to be the City that families and businesses want to call home, and the prioritization of our citizens’ health and safety through the upkeep of our infrastructure is an important part of progressing toward that vision,” Marc Guy, Assistant City Manager for Public Safety and Development Services, said. 

To prevent overflows in instances of heavy rainfall, the City’s Public Works Department utilizes smart covers installed in three manholes on its transmission mains that send alerts if the flow begins to rise. This technology gives the department ample time to investigate the problem before an SSO occurs. They also conduct smoke testing on more than 100,000 linear feet of sewer lines each year to identify breaks, defects, and illegal connections to the wastewater collection system. This testing helps to both prevent SSO and save the City money on wastewater treatment costs. 

Additionally, the City performs sanitary sewer system rehabilitations in several neighborhood subdivisions each year with priority placed on its design standards. 

“Preventative measures like smart covers, smoke testing, and sanitary sewer system rehabilitations play an integral role in the well-being of citizens and the local economy,” Jody Byerly, Interim Public Works Director, said. “Our crews are committed to keeping the community safe and functioning smoothly.”

Only youBlockages in the line can also cause or contribute to overflows, so it’s important that all community members join the prevention effort by taking simple steps such as remembering to only flush number one, number two, and the paper hanging next to you. Do not flush sanitary napkins, facial tissue, cotton swabs, disposable toilet brushes, cigarette butts, or paper towels as these items do not dissolve in water and can clog sewer lines. Pouring fats, oils, or grease of any kind down the drain can also result in blockages often referred to as fatbergs. 

Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of all service lines extending from the City mains to their residence or business. If you experience a plumbing stoppage, become familiar with the sewer service line cleanouts on your property and contact a plumber. If your plumber finds that your service line is broken where it connects to the City’s sewer main, contact Public Works at 972-466-3425 and request a sewer service call. Only City Public Works employees may repair sewer services in the right-of-way due to the multitude of utilities contained in a small area that must be protected. Homeowners or business owners will be charged a $75 sewer service call fee during regular business hours (Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or a $150 sewer service call fee after regular business hours.  

If you see what appears to be sewage in the street or if any of your neighbors also have sewer stoppages at the same time, call the City’s 24-hour emergency number, 972-466-3425, immediately.

For more information about the City’s sanitary sewer lines and SSO prevention practices, visit cityofcarrollton.com/publicworks
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