Sanitary sewer service lines, like many utilities, go unnoticed unless a serious problem occurs, like a back-up or overflow. The sanitary sewer service line from the residence to the sewer main is one of the most important assets to a home because it conveys wastewater (sewer) away from the home and directly affects the environment and public health if such a serious problem does occur.
Millenial Living Inc. states that “home remodelers and builders often don’t consider the adequacy of existing water supply and underground sewer pipes in their remodeling plans. Underground sewer lines may be at the end of their useful lives after operating for over 50-60 years.” Also, engineers estimate that 40% of inflow/infiltration (ground/rain water entering the sanitary sewer collection system via cracks and/or breaks) comes from sanitary sewer service lines. Because of the severity of this problem, Little Rock Wastewater (LRW) has developed a public education program called, “Stay Connected,” to try and solve the service line issues Little Rock faces.
The “Stay Connected” program will begin with a pilot study, which has already begun. The main purpose of the study is to obtain facts/data to develop a service line inspection plan for the benefit the rate payers of Little Rock. The overall goal is to reduce back-ups and inflow/infiltration and maintain minimal rates for the future. Volunteers will be sought by LRW this week to participate in the initial study, which involves:
• Selecting volunteers (homes) from four sectors of the city designated by LRW
• Sampling of homes based on area, age of home and age of service line
• Homes will be selected based on the needs of the study (see chart below)
Service Line (Home) Age Volunteers Needed
1 – 4 years 2
5 years 2
10 years 2
15 years 2
16 – 25 years 10
26 – 35 years 10
36 – 45 years 10
46 – 55 + years 10
• Those selected to participate will receive (free of charge) installation of a double cleanout, a backflow preventer, a TV inspection of service line, results of inspection with recommendations
Those selected to participate will receive a free sewer service line inspection and other incentives. Little Rock Wastewater maintains and manages nearly 1,400 miles of sanitary sewer mains. There are approximately 1,000 miles of sanitary sewer service lines that home owners/residents must maintain.