Sanitary Sewer

Sewer Line Repair Update – April 29, 2016

In March TAS finished cleaning the area around the broken pipe. Two iron I-beams were installed to temporarily support the line and temporary fences were put in to keep anyone from crossing the sewer line. Fort Worth Arborist planted 24 trees to restore the damaged area.

In April, rain delayed the permanent repair work, but the contractor installed new concrete footings to stabilize and strengthen the aerial crossing and eliminate the sagging in the line. They ran a temporary sewer line to the wastewater treatment plant and brought in a portable, self-contained lift station to bypass the crossing in anticipation of replacing the necessary portion of the sewer line.

The permanent repair to the aerial sewer crossing was completed on April 29, 2016.

 

Sewer Line Repair Update – March 18, 2016

The temporary repair was monitored closely during last week’s rain and fortunately the water level in the tributary remained below the level of the pipe.  A certified arborist selected and oversaw the planting of 24 trees (8 each Possumhaw Hollies, Redbuds, and Mexican Plums). The District has received the emergency repair approval from TCEQ which allows the District to proceed with a negotiated contract.  Plans have been submitted to the USACE for their expedited approval process.  The District hopes to obtain approval in the next week and will begin the project immediately thereafter.

 

Sewer Line Repair Update – March 4, 2016

The District has received the Environmental Studies report and is working with a certified arborist on plans to plant 24 trees to restore the work area. TCEQ provided verbal notification this week that the final sample results after the cleanup were within the acceptable range. The District has engaged Red River Archaeology to perform the archaeological work required by the USACE and hopes to receive the approval from USACE to proceed with the permanent repair in the near future.

 

Sewer Line Discharge on January 29, 2016

At approximately 1:45 pm on January 29, 2016, District personnel noted a reduction in influent flow to the wastewater treatment facility. At about 2:15 pm staff discovered that a sanitary sewer line had ruptured as a result of a large tree limb that fell on the line at an aerial crossing on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property. The District called a contractor for an emergency repair and the rupture was plugged at 3:45 pm. The District contacted TCEQ at 3:20 pm to inform them of the leak and repair. After the repair the area of the leak was disinfected by staff.

On February 10th representatives of the TCEQ and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) met with District staff at the site for an inspection and collection of stream samples. The General Manager also met with USACE on February 12th and a remediation was conducted in the creek February 12th – 18th.  Monitoring of the sewer line and temporary repairs indicated that a portion of the wastewater line was “sagging,” thereby threatening the structural integrity of the line. On February 16th the District hired a contractor to place an “overhead cradle” around the pipe to pull it into a straight position to prevent failure. The District’s engineer has determined that a segment of the line must be permanently replaced as soon as possible to prevent a rupture and subsequent spill into the underlying waterway.

The District will be submitting plans to TCEQ for emergency repair approval, and is seeking expedited approval from the USACE to conduct a permanent emergency repair. This process includes biological and archeological surveys and plans for cleanup and mitigation to replace trees and vegetation.  For further details please see the General Manager’s presentation to the Board of Directors at the February 16, 2016 Regular Meeting. The video replay from the meeting is available on You Tube and the presentation starts at about 55 minutes into video.

 

What You Should Know About Your Sanitary Sewer System

The District maintains approximately 60 miles of sewer lines within its boundaries and those of the Town of Trophy Club Public Improvement District. From your property, sewage flows to the wastewater treatment plant through a combination of gravity flow and 10 lift stations. Daily checks at each lift station and operations of the wastewater treatment plant occur 365 days a year in rain, snow or sun. Staff also routinely monitors the grease in the collection system throughout town to keep the sewer mains clear.

From a home to the point where the line connects to the sewer main, the responsibility for maintaining and repairing the sewer pipes rests with the owner of the property. Some homeowners experience sewer blockages on their property due to grease, non-flushable objects like paper towels, or most commonly tree roots infiltrating their private sewer lines. It is also possible for pipes to sag or collapse over time or to break when excavation work is done.

Many homeowners have their lines periodically de-rooted by professionals using a physical device or chemical treatment. There are also chemical products for roots and flushable enzyme-based drain cleaners that are available for consumer use.

An Ounce of Prevention

When it comes to your sewer pipes, an ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure.

  • Don’t put grease, fats or oils in any drain, and avoid coffee grounds and eggshells. Dispose of these materials in the garbage. Scrape your plates and wipe out pans before putting them in the sink.
  • Don’t flush baby wipes, tampons, napkins, paper towels, cotton swabs or other solid materials. Toilets are meant to handle solid and liquid bodily waste and reasonable amounts of toilet paper.
  • Know where your sewer and water lines are located before digging. Plan your landscaping to keep invasive roots away, and consider removing plants or trees that chronically get into the sewer line.
  • Locate your sewer cleanout so you can get to it quickly in an emergency. It will probably look like a white PVC pipe sticking out of the ground with a square knob on the lid. This may be on the front or back side of the home, depending on where your line connects to the sewer main. The District has flags you can place at the site to make it visible under leaves, snow or ice.
  • Consider installing a “pop-off cap” on the sewer cleanout. These devices work on pressure and are designed to pop off automatically if a backup occurs. This will relieve the backup to spill into the yard instead of inside your home causing costly damage. If installing a pop-off cap, remember that the seal on the cap has a limited life span and may need to be replaced every couple of years.
  • Contact your insurance agent to discuss the coverage included in your homeowners’ policy. The District is not responsible for damage caused by a sewer backup in your home. Adding a sewer backup endorsement policy to your insurance is a low-cost way to protect your home investment!

 

If you notice the following warning signs of a partial sewer blockage it’s time to call a professional to have your pipes cleared of debris or replaced.

  • Toilets that are difficult or slow flush
  • A gurgling or glugging noise in the toilet or drains
  • Slow drains, especially during high volume use

 

If the Worst Happens

If sewage starts backing up into your shower or other drains you need to take immediate action.

  1. Go outside and use a wrench to remove the lid on the sewer cleanout so the sewage flows out into the yard instead of into your home.
  2. Notify the District by calling (682) 831-4600. This number is answered 24/7 for water and sewer emergencies and the dispatcher can send on-call staff if a blockage exists on the District side.
  3. Call a licensed plumber and get professional help on the way.

 

Camera Van

The Collections Department has a special camera to televise sewer lines.  This helps them in their daily collection and sewer operations and is also available, at a charge, to help residents diagnose sewer problems.  If you have a blockage or backup, we recommend that you contact us first.

If you have a sanitary sewer problem and your plumber indicates that the blockage lies under a street, please contact our office before your plumber takes any action.

  • During business hours (Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm) call the main office  at 682-831-4600, option 2.
  • After hours and on weekends call the main number at 682-831-4600.  This number is forwarded to an answering service and callers who wish to report a water or sewer emergency will be instructed to press 1 to be connected to a dispatch operator.

 

Swimming Pool Backwash

Follow these steps to discharge backwash from your swimming pool into the sanitary sewer system.

1)  Locate the nearest sewer clean-out (a pipe stubbed up from the ground usually covered with a threaded cap).
2)  Uncap the clean-out.
3)  Attach a hose to the filter waste discharge line using a hose clamp.
4) Run the hose to the clean-out and allow it to drain over the pipe.  To prevent cross contamination, do not insert the hose into the cleanout, but leave an airgap between the top of the cleanout and the drain hose.
5)  Backwash the filter per the manufacturer’s recommendation.