Sewer Maintenance & Operations
Sewer main lines are the large pipes that carry sanitary wastewater from your neighborhood to one of the City’s twelve pump stations. These pump stations pump wastewater to the Headworks, which is located at the Operations Center. Wastewater is then pumped from there to the Salmon Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant where it is treated prior to being released into the Columbia River. Your lateral connects directly into the main line.
It is important that main lines and pump stations are properly maintained so that blockages and spills do not occur. Blocked main lines can cause major damage when wastewater backs up into a home or business. Spills can cause environmental damage.
Pump stations are checked daily, including weekends, to make sure they are running properly. All pump stations are connected to the SCADA system, which monitors for any issues, and if found, alarms to a 24-hour monitoring system run by Clark Public Utilities. Most of the City’s pump stations have a 24-hour emergency generator at the site in case of power failure. Pump station wet wells are cleaned as necessary to prevent clogging of pumps.
The City deploys a number of measures and uses specialized equipment to keep main line cleans. A closed circuit TV truck is used to inspect pipe and manholes for damage and blockages. A jetter truck is used to remove any blockages or debris. A vac truck vacuums up any debris at the manholes and cleans up any spills.
A lateral, also known as side sewer, is the pipe that carries sanitary waste from your home or business to the City’s main line.
The City’s wastewater treatment facilities are designed and operated to take care of domestic wastewater. Industrial and commercial wastewater can contain concentrations of metals, organics, and greases that are far higher than domestic wastewater.
Infiltration and Inflow, also known as I & I is when groundwater (infiltration) and stormwater (inflow) gets into the sanitary system.
What happens to sanitary wastewater (the polite way of saying sewage) after you flush your toilet or send water down the drain? From your home, it takes a long journey to the Columbia River, with some essential stops along the way. . .