May 18, 2018

NDRWSA Sewer Camera Helps Locate Blockage

GRANVILLE, N. D. – When the Community of Granville couldn’t locate a sewer blockage that was causing sewage backups for residents, they contacted the North Dakota Rural Water Systems Association.

“We jetted the main, but the contractor hit a dead end and couldn’t go any further,” explained Granville System Operations Specialist Paul Rosencrans. “We requested Rural Water bring the sewer camera just to see what was going on.”

Sewer jetting uses high-pressure water sprayers to high-pressure water jets to clear obstructions in residential and commercial drain pipes as well as larger municipal sewer systems. The jetting removed some ice frozen in the sewer but didn’t solve the backup problems.

“The customer on the end of the line was still having sewer problems,” said Les Sigette, a NDRWSA Wastewater Technician. “I brought the association sewer camera to try to find the obstruction.”

The sewer camera uses cables and a rolling mount that moves through pipes, transmitting and recording video of any possible obstructions. He started moving the camera through the sewer main at the nearest manhole.

“About 10 feet down we found some misaligned tile,” Sigette said. “It wasn’t severe enough to cause the blockage, though.”

A few feet farther, Sigette found the dead-end obstruction that the sewer jetting could not remove.

“The residential sewer line was shoved in completely through the main to the other side,” he said. “I’ve seen pipes shift before, but I’ve never seen it go all the through the city sewer main.”

It’s uncertain what caused the pipe to shift, but Sigette suspects it moved when the ground thawed and shifted. The line will have to be dug up and reinstalled with a saddle to prevent separation. Sigette’s assistance helped the community quickly locate the source of the problem and begin working on solutions, something that would not have been possible without rural water assistance.

“His knowledge and his equipment were very helpful,” Rosencrans said of Sigette. “It’s great that Rural Water is there to help us.”