Sewer line replacement
This is a picture of a typical residential sewer line and water line replacement, in the city of Edmonton, the vast majority of homes constructed between 1950 and 1959 had Orangeburg sanitary lines installed, commonly referred to as non-corode or tar paper pipes. The reason for this was due alto a shortage of clay this product offered a much cheaper alternative. The problem was that the Orangeburg pipe only had a 40-year life expectancy. The use of hot water over the years tends to soften the pipe with the large amounts of rain we have been experiencing in recent years the clay material above the pipe has been becoming saturated and heavier causing the pipes to slowly collapse on themselves. As you can see from the picture below.
This pipe in the picture is actually in fair condition compared to most once the pipe collapses more than this it generally breaks apart effectively rendering your sewer line inoperable and causing a sewer backup into your basement. If your home was constructed between 1950 and 1959 there is a very good chance that this is what your line looks like or potentially worse, a simple camera inspection can determine the condition of your line and if it is addressed prior to a collapse less invasive options for replacement are available such as pipe bursting. If the line does in fact collapse we generally are forced to dig up the line in its entirety from the house to the city connection point in order to replace it, the first picture above is what a complete excavation looks like with a new pipe and a new water line installed. Call us today for a no-obligation quote and inspection to give you peace of mind and discuss replacement options.
What is a catch basin?
A catch basin is a fairly simple system that has been around for decades, In short, a catch basin is a box or larger cylinder that is placed in the ground or in your basement in a predetermined low area it functions as a place to catch water and debris. The debris settles to the bottom, a hole in the side of the basin has a pipe connected to it which allows water to flow out to a stormwater system. If you have a catch basin installed in your basement it will generally contain a sump pump instead of a pipe which will then pump water out of your home to either the stormwater system or out onto your lawn to help direct the water away from your home or building.
Commercial catch basins are generally found in parking lots; these are the metal grates you see staggered around a lot which will help capture rainwater and snowmelt on the property and then direct it to the stormwater system. These catch basins will generally be 10 feet deep and will all be connected by underground piping which allows water to flow by gravity away from the property to the city storm system. In some cases these catch basins will be used for landscape drainage, these basins will be generally smaller and not as deep and can be used to collect water runoff from the downspouts of a building, no matter the size or application they all serve the same purpose.
A catch basin in your basement is typically found in your mechanical room, these basins will generally be made of plastic and can either have holes drilled in them to collect ground water from under your basement floor or they can be solid and used to route the ground water from your weeping tile system. Typically these types of catch basins will contain a sump pump which will, in turn, pump the collected water outside of your home to either the city storm system directly or will pump out on your lawn and allow the water to flow away from your home by conventional lot grading.
How often should I test my sump pump?
You should test your sump pump at least twice a year to ensure proper function, you can do this easily by locating the pump float which looks like a black ball typically and lifting it up when the weight inside the ball shifts it will trigger the pump to come on if this functions your pump is working. Newer systems will sometimes have an alarm on them which can trigger an audible signal to tell you the pump is not working or you can even have some that will text or email you when there is a problem. A good sump pump system will be connected to a battery+ backup or can even have a separate battery-powered pump to protect your home from flooding during a power outage.
Does my catch basin need to be adjusted?
In commercial parking lot applications catch basins sometimes protrude out above the parking lot surface this can pose a hazard to vehicles and people as they are solid metal and can damage your car or snow removal equipment. The secondary damage that happens when a catch basin protrudes is that water can not properly drain which causes premature asphalt wear and potential for water buildup and freezing in the winter which causes ice to form in a parking lot.
How can my catch basin be adjusted?
With most conventional catch basins concrete spacers called grade rings are typically installed or can be inserted or removed to raise and lower the height of a catch basin grate. These are in place to allow for compensation of frost heaving or ground settlement. When this happens the asphalt or concrete around the basin can be cut and removed a ring can be added or removed to raise or lower the basin grate and then asphalt or concrete replaced to ensure proper function.
What is a water valve?
A water valve in a commercial parking lot is generally an 8-inch metal circle that sits flush with the parking lot surface. These valves are used to turn the water on and off to larger buildings. These water valves like catch basins can also be raised or lowered in order to maintain a level parking lot surface. As these are metal casings if they stick up above the parking lot surface the valve casing itself can either be damaged by vehicle strikes or by snow removal equipment. They can also cause damage to vehicles and equipment or pose a tripping hazard to pedestrians. If a casing becomes damaged dirt can enter the valve and make it very difficult to turn off the water should a leak be detected or service to the water system be required? These valves can also be raised or lowered to compensate for frost heaving or ground settlement by cutting away a small area of asphalt, removing some of the dirt around the valve and then pressing the valve down or turning it down in some cases In order to meet the parking lot surface and then the area can be repaired once adjusted.
Catch basin needing repair
*click on images to enlarge