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Sue Stephenson
Community Affairs Supervisor
(925) 875-2295 office
(925) 570-5739 cell

Renee Olsen
Community Affairs Specialist
(925) 875-2294 office

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Video Inspections Prioritize Sewer Repairs

Post Date:07/24/2017
  Two men use unwind hose from a hydrocleaning into a manhole
  Hydro-cleaning trucks use recycled water to flush grease and roots from sewer mains to clean the pipes and prepare them for inspection.

  Man works with robotic CCTV camera at bottom of sewer manhole
  Working at the bottom of a manhole, a DSRSD wastewater operator lowers a robotic video camera into a sewer pipe.

Situation: District employees clean and video-inspect about 10 percent of the 207-mile wastewater collection system every year. Using the recordings, we rate the condition of every pipeline according to national standards. For many sewer lines installed before 2000, however, we had only poor-quality video recordings or none at all.

Solution: A specialty contractor, National Plant Services, cleaned and inspected 350,000 feet of these older pipelines in Dublin and San Ramon (see map below). Instead of taking several years, the work was completed in a single year, finishing in June 2017.

With a wealth of new pipeline condition data, the District can forecast future replacement costs more accurately and prioritize cost-effective maintenance and repairs before pipes fail. The $450,000 project was funded by sewer service charges paid by District customers.

No Digging Needed

No digging is needed to clean and inspect sanitary sewers. Working through existing manholes, the crew uses recycled water to flush the sewer pipes that run under the middle of the street. Flushing removes grease and roots that can cause clogs and sewage overflows. Then the crew sends a closed-circuit video camera through the pipe to record its condition.

Occasionally people hear gurgling noises or splashing in their toilets during hydro-cleaning. This is normal and doesn’t affect household plumbing. Most customers notice nothing at all. Work at each manhole typically takes less than an hour. Traffic controls are short-term.

Ball of grease partially obstructs sewer pipe

Roots partially obstruct sewer pipe

Household grease clogs sewers. Learn what not to flush to help us keep wastewater flowing to the treatment plant.

Moisture-seeking roots intrude into sewers. Avoid planting trees over your home's sewer lateral.


The map below shows sewer pipes that were cleaned and inspected to complete assessments of the entire system.

Map showing streets where sewers will be cleaned and inspected

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