Making Old Pipes As Good As New
Why Lateral Lining is necessary?
Lateral pipes are typically 4 to 6 inches in diameter and run underground, connecting your home’s plumbing to the City’s sanitary sewer system. Homeowners are responsible for maintaining their lateral pipes while the City is responsible for keeping the City-owned portion of the system in good working condition.
Over time, lateral pipes can develop cracks and leaks that allow rain water to get into the sanitary sewers. The system was not meant to hold rain water, so when rain does get in, the pipes fill beyond their capacity. This overwhelms the system which can lead to sewage overflowing into rivers or backing up into basements. Lateral lining quickly replaces an old pipe with minimal impact to the yard, and is a valuable improvement to your home.
How the process works
Locating the lateral
The first step is to inspect the lateral. In most cases, a remote camera can access your lateral from inside the city’s sewer main. Occasionally, tree roots or other obstructions block the camera and it becomes necessary to insert it through a sewer cleanout in the home’s basement. The camera televises the pipe’s condition. The surveying crew uses the signal from the camera’s remote transmitter to map out the route of the lateral line.
Installing a cleanout (if necessary)
When a new cleanout pipe is needed, crews install it close to
the house, careful to avoid serious damage to the lawn. In many cases the original sod is reinstalled, leaving the cleanout pipe
a few inches above grade. Most residents prefer to keep the cleanout accessible for routine maintenance, but the opening can be buried just below the sod if the resident prefers. Some laterals may be lined using an existing cleanout in the basement.
Installing the lateral lining
A crew installs a liner inside your lateral pipe and connects it to the City sewer line. If the basement cleanout is used, the City will contact the resident to arrange a convenient time to access it. Residents will be asked to suspend water use for approximately four hours on the day their liner material is installed to allow time for it to harden.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the City lining laterals in my neighborhood?
Lining lateral pipes is an essential part of Blueprint Columbus, the City’s plan to keep rain water out of the sanitary sewer. Laterals will be lined in neighborhoods where a large amount of rain water gets into sanitary sewers through leaky joints and cracks in lateral pipes.
Will my yard be dug up?
When crews need to install a cleanout near your house, a 2’ x 2’ hole will be dug down as far as the sewer lateral. A PVC pipe will be installed from the surface to the lateral. Your yard will be restored, often with the original turf. The cleanout pipe can be level with the yard so it does not interfere with mowing.
If a lateral line is too damaged for the lining to be pushed through then it may be necessary to excavate an area of the yard to expose the lateral and replace it. The yard will be restored when the work is completed.
Will this cost me anything?
There are no direct costs to the homeowner. Blueprint Columbus is a solution to a problem that affects the entire community and is being paid for with revenue from City sewer bills.
What is a lateral pipe?
A sewer lateral carries waste water from your toilets, sinks, washing machines, and shower to City’s sewer. In older homes, the lateral is usually made of clay pipe which is subject to problems over time, such as becoming cracked or filled with tree roots.
Who will maintain the lateral when the work is done?
A newly lined lateral has a life expectancy of 50 years and the homeowner remains responsible for its maintenance. As long as the lateral pipe remains clear (for instance, not clogged with grease), it should not require any significant maintenance.
Do I need to be home?
You only need to be home if the inside cleanout is being used. If access is needed, a City representative will contact you.
How is a lateral pipe lined?
Crew members install a resin-filled liner from the City’s main sewer, through the home’s lateral line, to the cleanout. The liner is filled with hot water so the liner can harden in place, leaving behind a new pipe.
Can I choose my own contractor?
No, the City will select and enter into an agreement with the contractor.
Will there be any disruption to my services?
The only interruption you may experience is during the actual lining process. You will be asked to not use any water for up to four hours (this includes flushing toilets, laundry, showers, etc.). The City will notify all affected customers and give enough notice to avoid significant inconvenience.