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Sanitary sewers of old - achievement by training and technology
By Jimmy DiMarzio
Released/Published: Jun 14, 2011

A community's sanitary sewer system is neither glamorous nor compelling for every day discussion. However, for those of us that maintain and repair these underground systems, they are the backbone of the city's infrastructure system.

Sewers carry residential, commercial and industrial waste to the city's wastewater treatment facility for proper handling and treatment. Without this coordinated network of piping, the public's waterways would be subject to undue pollutants.

Built long ago but still serving us today, the city's sanitary sewers are cleaned, inspected and repaired with technology and equipment that has changed significantly over the last century.

Most of the city's sewers were constructed when horse and buggies were the machinery of choice. As time elapsed, cranes and shovels powered their way through the construction industry. All the while, our city took advantage of a pool of skilled laborers to craft these sewers to the perfect engineering standards that still serve our community today.

Over the years, the city has had to clean these lines from time to time. City workers in the past used ancient tools of the trade to scoop and remove the waste and other debris that would occasionally clog the public sewers. For most blockages, the practice of clearing a plugged line required a brave worker to enter a manhole and physically remove a blockage by hand or tool.

Today, city crews are composed of highly trained equipment operators. Crews use some of the most advanced sewer cleaners available. These high velocity cleaners are capable of producing nozzle pressures that exceed 2,000 psi, which can move large amounts of debris, roots and gravel. Once these lines are cleaned, the debris is vacuumed out and hauled away for proper disposal.

For more information contact the Collections Systems Department by calling 330-489-3031.

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