Paper Products: The Bane of Sewer Cleaning Trucks

Contrary to what their labels say, “flushable” wipes, tissues, and paper towels shouldn’t actually be flushed down the toilet. Paper products like disposable wipes can cause significant damage because sewage pipes aren’t designed to withstand the tiny scratches and dents they can cause from within. As such, instead of using a powerful Vactor truck to clean out the sewer system, some cities in the US are forced to carry out less effective means of sewer repair.

It’s unfortunate that the utility crews are forced to choose between them because regular sewer cleaning and maintenance are both important. Sewer lines that have been clogged are just as bad as a damaged sewer pipe because they too disrupt the flow of the system. Grease, massive dirt buildup, and the occasional pest infestation can only be fixed with heavy-duty cleaning equipment, and that’s why some government units rely on companies that rent them out.

Cleaning trucks use a variety of technologies, from vacuum cleaning to hydro excavation, for the job. Even with such equipment, however, cleaning out plastic and paper products from sewer lines is still a difficult task; this is especially true of the latter since they don’t always dissolve in water easily. Fortunately, sewer cleaning can also be a good opportunity to inspect the sewer system itself; after all, most cleaning operations use state-of-the-art CCTV cameras for documentation purposes and detection of damages caused by “flushables”.

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