Have you ever wondered what happens when you wash something down the drain? Or what happens to the waste and water after you flush the toilet?

Unfortunately, sewage or wastewater is one of the less exciting topics people would like to know about. As a result, the sewer system is among the most often overlooked building components, both in residential and commercial units. After all, no one wants to deal with waste and dirty water.

However, as neglected as they are, sewer systems are vital in keeping your home or workplace functioning correctly. Thus, they need to be well-maintained and cleaned regularly.

But before going deeper into why sewer cleaning is crucial, you first need to understand what sewer cleaning is all about.

What Is Sewer Cleaning?

Sewer cleaning is cleaning your home or office’s sewer system from all types of debris that can cause blockages. This debris includes garbage, dirt, grease, leaves, grit, sand, rags, and others that might obstruct the drains and prevent wastewater from flowing properly into the sewer.

The sewer system needs to be free from any obstruction to carry wastewater from homes, commercial buildings, and other industries to the sewage treatment facility for proper disposal.

But you might ask, why go through all the trouble when you can throw away wastewater somewhere else?

Unfortunately, collecting and throwing away dirty water from your home is not that simple. Wastewater contains harmful bacteria and other substances, such as dangerous chemicals, that can destroy the environment when disposed improperly. Worse is when these substances come into contact with other people.

Thus, your sewer system needs to be in good condition to function well. And for this, sewer maintenance, regular cleaning, and prompt sewer repair are required.

Who Needs Sewer Cleaning?

If you’re a homeowner or have a building in your possession, you need sewer cleaning.

Most homes have a private sewage treatment plant or what’s more commonly known as septic tanks. The plumbing system collects wastewater from the house and runs it directly into the septic tank, where it undergoes a simple water treatment process. Then, reasonably clear water flows out.

The treated water still contains bacteria and chemicals, but these act as a fertilizer for the ground. So, you might notice greener plants near the septic tank or the drain field.

While the process might be simple, you still need professional sewer cleaning if you don’t want to deal with clogged drains and other serious, more costly sewer problems.

In a different situation, especially in urban areas where buildings are closer and produce more waste, the sewer system leads to a more complex water treatment facility.

The drain pipes from each house or building connect to the main sewer under the streets, which cleaners can access through manholes or utility holes. The main sewer collects wastewater from homes and other infrastructure and takes it to the city’s water treatment facility.

Although sewer pipes are much bigger than the drain pipes in your home, they can become narrower over time. As a result, debris, such as grease and oil, can accumulate on the sides of the tubes and eventually cause an obstruction. These blockages usually happen in the bathroom and kitchen sinks, shower drains, and toilet drains.

So, if you forget sewer maintenance or prompt sewer repair, you can expect more significant problems in your home, and you might even cause a health hazard in your community.

Importance of Sewer Cleaning

As mentioned, sewer cleaning is necessary to keep your sewage system functioning well and avoid obstructions in wastewater flow.

Moreover, regular sewer cleaning provides the following benefits:

First, it lengthens the lifespan of your drains.

When the pipes are well-maintained and cleaned on a regular basis, the waste and debris that flow through them cause minor damage. Thus, your drain pipes can last longer and function to the fullest.

It leads to faster drainage.

No one likes water pooling on the floor when taking a shower. It’s also quite nasty when the toilet doesn’t flush as quickly as possible. When this happens, there might be an obstruction in your sewer system. But regular sewer cleaning can stop this from happening. Clogs, which are only starting to form, can be cleared, and wastewater can flow faster through the drains. So, there’s no water pooling on the sink, floor, or elsewhere.

It eliminates terrible odors coming from the sewer system.

All sorts of waste go through the sewer system. So, it’s apparent that wastewater stinks, especially when food particles and body wastes remain in the pipes. Thankfully, regular sewer cleaning gets rid of stuck particles in the drains and, therefore, removes the foul odors that come with them.

It can help you avoid severe damage and costly repairs.

When your sewer system doesn’t get the cleaning and maintenance it needs, an obstruction will start to form in the pipes. This blockage will narrow the space where wastewater passes through and prevent proper draining. Ultimately, the complete block will occur, causing more problems and expensive repairs. However, with sewer maintenance and cleaning, problems will be identified earlier, and acting promptly on them will prevent more severe issues.

It is crucial to keep your sewer system well-maintained with all these benefits. Thus, you need to schedule regular cleaning if you don’t want to deal with clogged drains and stagnant water, which can be nasty.

When Do You Need Sewer Cleaning?

As a general rule, your sewer system needs regular cleaning every 18 to 22 months. However, many homeowners don’t know this, and they only call sewer cleaners when they notice problems with their drains.

Unfortunately, when you experience drainage problems, it might be a little too late for minor repairs. On the other hand, apparent problems can show that your sewer system needs serious fixing.

So, if you don’t want to deal with nasty wastewater issues, schedule your sewer cleaning regularly. If it’s a challenge for you to remember when the next cleaning should be, keep the following warning signs in mind.

Slow drains

When you notice the sink, tub, or shower draining slower than usual, is alert to underlying problems that may be causing it. One of these problems is a clogged sewer system, where a good cleanout of the sewer line is the simple solution. However, if you don’t act on it, the problem will only worsen and may cost you more.

Pooling or backing up of water in the shower or sink

If one of your drain pipes is clogged, the water that usually flows through these clogged pipes will back up into other areas, like the sink or shower floor. Thankfully, professional sewer cleaning can quickly solve clogged pipes. Unfortunately, if other issues are involved, the problem might be more serious.

Overloaded pipes

Have you ever experienced water backing up when running a significant load on your washing machine? This situation can occur when your sewer system has a problem. And it will only get worse when you don’t get it checked and repaired. Even when you run smaller loads, the situation will worsen and cause other complications.

Sewage odor

Wastewater stinks. But you won’t notice it when your sewer system functions properly and keeps the water flowing. However, when you start smelling sewage odour from the pipes, it may signify a blockage that keeps wastewater in the sewer.

Pooling of water around your house

Another sign that an obstruction is in your sewer is the pooling of water or flooding around your yard. When the drains are blocked, the water will find other ways to get out of the pipes. As a result, wastewater will seep up from the ground and likely end up around your house.

When you see these signs, it’s apparent that your sewer needs cleaning.

And don’t be surprised to see grease as one of the main reasons behind your clogged drains. Roots, animals, and a belly pipe might also be the culprits for your sewer problems.

But why let it get to these severe issues when you can have your sewer system cleaned regularly and prevent the above things from happening?

What Happens During Sewer Cleaning?

Sewer cleaning is essential, and you need it – this much is obvious.

But do you know what it takes to clean the sewer?

Sewer cleaning requires skills and knowledge. Plus, cleaners need to follow strict protocols where safety and health are concerned. These and the proper procedures will result in a clear sewer system that will keep your home running smoothly.

So, when it’s time for your regular sewer cleaning, the cleaners will take the necessary steps to ensure appropriate results.


Sewer cleaners don’t just dive into action and clean your sewer immediately. To know the correct maintenance tasks and repairs, they need to assess the sewer system correctly. Thus, they conduct an inspection first.

With the right tools, sewer cleaners will take video footage of the pipes. They usually mount CCTV cameras on remote-controlled robotic crawlers, which they insert into the sewer. The video shows the internal condition of the lines, and from it, the cleaners will develop the appropriate plan of action.

Sewer Cleaning

The next step is the actual cleaning of the sewer. Again, the cleaners will use a cleaning method that’s right for the condition of the sewer.

The following are the methods of sewer cleaning they will choose from:

  1. Mechanical Cleaning:  this method involves using power rodders, hand rods, and drain augers to manually cut, scrape, and push debris out of the sewer. It effectively clears roots or large blocks of solid waste that obstruct the pipes. When the process is over, a follow up with the following cleaning method, hydraulic Cleaning, is usually done for more effective Cleaning.
  2. Hydraulic Cleaning: uses a nozzle and high-pressure water to clear obstructions in the sewer. When the cleaners locate the blockage, they insert the nozzle at the nearest access point and release water to push out debris. The debris usually includes gravel, sand, soil, roots, and other objects.

In cases where big blocks of debris are present, the cleaners will utilize vacuum trucks to pull out the blockage and dispose of it properly.

  1. Chemical Methods: government-approved chemicals are used to get rid of sewer obstructions. Some of the most common chemicals used are acids and caustic chemicals. These can effectively stop root growth and penetrate through grease, thus eliminating the blockage.

Once cleaning is over, you will immediately notice an improvement in the function of your drainage system.

But don’t stop at regular cleaning and sewer repair. Keeping your sewer in the best condition requires proper maintenance, too.

Sewer Maintenance

With regular sewer cleaning comes proper sewer maintenance.

It is necessary to employ specific measures, so your sewer system functions smoothly. And for this, the following tips are what you need:

  • Never flush items that don’t break down or dissolve down the drain. These include baby wipes, menstrual products, diapers, grease and oil, eggshells, and coffee grounds.
  • Use a drain grate or screen to prevent obstructive items from getting flushed into the sewer system.
  • Always inspect your drain stoppers and remove debris, such as hair, soap buildup and tissue particles.
  • Never pour chemicals and household cleaning products down the toilet or sink. They may damage your drainage pipes.
  • Clear substance buildup from your drains by pouring hot water into them at least once a week.

Sewer cleaners cannot emphasize the importance of their service more. There are numerous benefits to gain from it, so you should not forget to get regular sewer cleaning services. Additionally, keeping the above steps in mind will help maintain your sewer system for optimal functioning.

And if you need expert sewer cleaning services, don’t look any further because Family Plumbing is here to take care of your sewer woes. Our competent, skilled, and friendly sewer professionals will get rid of any obstruction, no matter how small or big, and get your pipes running smoothly again.

So, don’t think twice and call us today at 306-519-3722 for satisfaction-guaranteed sewer cleaning at the most reasonable price.