Sanitary Sewer - Public Works
PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT
Monday - Friday,
7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
After hours, weekends, holidays (952) 445-1411
MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT LINKS
The City of Prior Lake's Public Works Department is responsible for inspecting and maintaining 107 miles of sanitary collection system infrastructure, 41 sanitary lift stations and 2,809 sanitary manholes to ensure uninterrupted collection of wastewater.
The Metropolitan Council and Environmental Services (MCES) Division of the Met Council is responsible for Sanitary sewer treatment and disposal at the Blue Lake Wastewater Treatment Facility in Shakopee, Minnesota.
For residents experiencing a sewer backup and do not know where the blockage is, contact the city to have a public works employee determine the location of the problem before contacting a drain cleaning company. Residents can avoid any unnecessary charge if the problem is in the city’s sewer line rather than in the property service line.
Property owners are responsible for clearing any blockage in the service line between the home and the city sanitary sewer main. This includes debris and tree roots. The property owner is also responsible for cleaning and repairing any damage done to their property by the backup.
Sanitary sewer line blockages are typically caused by roots, grease, and improper disposal of items. Tree roots can enter the sanitary sewer system at joints and cracks in the sewer service lines and mains. Grease can solidify in the sewer lines and restrict other waste from flowing through. The lines can be blocked by items like disposable diapers, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, washing machine lint, or other items improperly flushed down the drain or toilet. Other non-discharge items can be found in the city ordinance section 705.900 available on the city's Document Center. The city is not automatically liable for blockages in the city’s sanitary sewer system. The city is only liable for those damages if the backup was caused by the city‘s negligence.
CHECK YOUR INSURANCE
Most homeowner insurance policies exclude damage resulting from sewer backups. Many insurance providers have insurance riders that can be purchased to insure loss due to sewer backups.
Back up problems might come from the improper use of sump pump discharge, also. It is illegal to drain the water into the basement sanitary sewer drain or laundry tub. Sump pumps must be discharged outside of the house to the yard or drainage way that will prevent the water from draining directly to the street. Additional information can be found in the city ordinance section 705.1500.
Most sewer lines run under the street. Some run through utility easements in grass areas adjacent to your residence and near the lake shore. Each year, the Public Works Department cleans about one-third of the city’s sanitary sewer lines, primarily during the summer months.
|Cleaning District Schedule|
|District 1 - 2015|
|District 2 - 2016|
|District 3 - 2017|
Lines requiring a higher level of maintenance are cleaned annually or semi-annually. The sanitary lift stations are checked twice weekly and include wireless monitoring and alarm equipment for flows, backups and power outages. This routine maintenance helps to prevent blockages and back-ups. You may find additional information regarding the city’s sanitary sewer maintenance program in the Sanitary Sewer Maintenance Policy.
CLEANING EQUIPMENT AND SEWER LINES
The sanitary sewer lines are cleaned using high performance sewer cleaning equipment. A cleaning nozzle is propelled from one manhole to the next using water under high pressure. The nozzle is then pulled back to the starting manhole. As the nozzle is pulled back, water scours the inside of the sanitary sewer pipe. Any debris in the pipe is pulled back with the water. The debris is removed from the manhole with a vacuum unit. If roots are found, they are cut with a root cutter. This process is repeated on every line cleaned.
During cleaning of sanitary sewer lines, air occasionally vents into a home through the sanitary sewer service line and ventilation system. When this happens water in the toilet bowl can bubble or surge or, in rare cases, splash out of the bowl. The common causes of air venting into homes during sanitary sewer cleaning are: air movement from normal cleaning operations, the use of higher pressure necessary when cleaning sanitary sewer lines that have a steep slope, sewer lines running close to the building, a plugged roof vent, and the size and complexity of the home’s waste and ventilation system. So, to minimize water splashing out of your toilet bowl, make it a habit to keep the lid down.