Sewer Cleaning: The Explanation Of This Common Oxymoron

2 May 2017
 Categories: , Blog


When you think of sewers, you probably think of dirty, foul, nasty places with lots of human waste and tons of rats. When someone says "sewer cleaning," you almost wonder what that actually entails, given the fact that a sewer is never really clean. They are not supposed to be, either. So, if the city in which you dwell notifies you that there will be a sewer cleaning on your street, your probably want this oxymoron explained.

Flushing: The More Accurate Term

Sewer cleaning is more accurately named if the term flushing is used, since sewer cleaners are trying to remove leaves, dirt and debris from the sewer lines. If the leaves, dirt and debris are not effectively removed, the sewer lines could become very clogged and raw sewage could back up into homes and buildings. Plumbers look at the city sewer maps to determine which lines are in jeopardy of this particular problem, and then plan to "clean" these lines on specific dates.

Cleaning Sewers Using One of Two Options

Most sewer cleaners and plumbers use one of two methods to "clean" the sewers. Jetting is the use of high pressure washer systems to blast the sewer lines clean, which may also be known as "flushing." The other method involves suction, or vacuuming, to pull dirt, leaves and debris from the sewer lines. Whenever possible, the jetting method is preferred because then the cleaners do not have to dispose of a massive tank on a tanker truck filled with all of the stuff they just sucked out of the sewer line.

How Clean Is Sewer Clean?

So, when you get right down to it, how clean is sewer clean? It is probably the cleanest a sewer gets all year. Jetting will even clean the walls of the sewers, leaving behind traces of waste, but not nearly the amount of waste that was originally sticking to them. Vacuuming suctions everything out, right off the sewer floors, but may leave the walls a bit messy. Overall, as long as the target objective is met and completed (i.e., the potential for clogs via leaves, dirt and debris is removed), the sewer line is considered "clean." 

Similarly, if you were to hire a plumber to "clean" the sewer line from your building or home to the city sewer, the same techniques would be used. The same results would follow, and the same declaration of "clean" would apply. If something particularly large blocked the way and would not move, a plumber like Holmes Sewer And Drain would find another way to remove the blockage and continue the chosen cleaning process.