Sewer Cleaning & Inspection Program

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What are Sewers?

Sewers are underground pipes that carry wastewater from homes and businesses to one of the three (3) pollution control plants, where it is treated and then released to the river. All DuPage County flows to the Public Works Wastewater Treatment Plant, all flow west of Route 59, north of Devon goes to Fox River Water Reclamation District (FRWRD) and anything in Cook County east of Route 59 flows to Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD). Everything you pour down your drains or flush down your toilet goes into a sewer.

Bartlett PW has Two Types of Sewer Cleaning & Inspection Programs

There is approximately 157 miles of sewer in Bartlett. At some point, all sewer pipes are cleaned and inspected under the program.

1. A sewer cleaning program only – PW crews move around the Village all year cleaning areas where there are persistent problems and doing emergency work to clear blockages.
2. A sewer cleaning and inspection program – PW crews clean and inspect sewers in selected areas of the Village each year, usually from April to October, Monday to Friday (occasionally Saturdays), from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. On streets with high traffic volumes and high wastewater flow during the day, PW may have to do this work at night. The Village realizes that the equipment is very noisy and may disturb residents. Sometimes this cannot be avoided and the community's patience is appreciated.

Why Are You Cleaning & Inspecting the Sewers?

The cleaning and inspection program keeps the sewer system operating efficiently by:
• Helping prevent blockages and backups
• Removing built-up debris, such as tree roots, grease, grit and sand
• Determining the condition of the sewer so the Village can repair or replace sewers as necessary
• Mandated by both the Illinois EPA (IEPA) and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD)

How Will I Know When You are Cleaning the Sewers on My Street?

In most cases, PW will put a notice on your FRONT DOOR one or two days before crews clean the sewers on your street. If the Village needs to clean the sewer quickly because of a blockage, there won’t be enough time to let you know in advance. However, PW crews will leave you a letter letting you know the sewer was cleaned.

PW truck used for sewer cleaningHow Do You Clean the Sewers?

The Public Works Department uses a high-pressure nozzle to flush water down the sewer. The dirt and debris are sucked up through a manhole by a large vacuum truck and taken to a landfill.

How Do You Inspect the Sewers?

PW inserts a remotely operated video camera into the sewer to record its condition. From the video, crews can tell if the sewer needs to be repaired or replaced.

 

 

Do You Clean and Inspect the Sewers at the Same Time?

The Village cleans and inspects some sewers at the same time. If crews have to return to your street to inspect them, they will leave another notice advising you to take the same precautions to prevent water damage.

How Long Does it Take to Clean the Sewers on Each Street?

It usually takes about one (1) day to clean the sewer on each block. However, some sewers can take longer, depending on their size and condition.

Do I Need to do anything before You Clean/Inspect the Sewers on My Street?

Yes. Occasionally during cleaning and inspection, air pressure in the sewer can cause water to splash out through toilets, sinks and drains. Take the following precautions in order to prevent water damage in your home:
• Close the lids on all toilet bowls when not in use.
• Insert drain plugs in all sinks and bathtubs when not in use.
• Remove all floor mats in bathrooms.
• Place an old towel around the base of toilets.
• If you have a float plug in your floor drain or a backwater valve installed in your house, ensure that it is free of debris and operating properly.
• Wrap the cover of your basement floor drains with plastic. Place something heavy over the floor drains to keep the plastic-covered floor drain covers in place.

If you are running your cold water tap to prevent your water line from freezing, run water from a tap at the highest elevation in the house without inserting the drain plug. Please follow the precautions above for all remaining fixtures (toilets, sinks and drains)
You may put things back as they were when the equipment has moved off your block.

Can I Use the Toilets and My Water While You are Cleaning and Inspecting the Sewer on My Block?

Yes. However, be careful as air pressure in the sewer during the cleaning and inspection can sometimes cause water to splash out through toilets, sinks and drains. Remember to close the lids on all toilet bowls when not in use, and insert drain plugs in all sinks and bathtubs when not in use.

Will I Notice Anything After You Have Cleaned/Inspected the Sewers on My Street?

Sometimes the sewer cleaning and inspection leaves an odor in the home. If so, run some water down the sink and bathtub drains, flush the toilets, pour a pail of water into each basement floor drain and open the windows. After a short time, the odor should disappear.