Harris Water Main & Sewer Contractors was called to a single family residence for a routine sewer backup that the homeowner had been experiencing for several days. The plumbing mechanic started by attempting to clear the sewer line with a “sewer snake” when he continued to get stuck 5 feet out from the house sewer trap. At this point the homeowner decided to have a camera inspection performed on the pipe to determine the exact problem with the sewer line. As the mechanic reached the spot where the snake was getting stuck, he noticed a steady stream of clean water coming in through the sewer pipe. The mechanic was extremely confused as he had no clue where the water was coming from; he decided to perform a sound test on the water main and quickly realized that the homeowners lead water line was leaking into the location where the sewer pipe was broken and infested with roots.
This was an extremely rare occurrence; the homeowner had no choice but to replace the entire lead water line in addition to a 5 foot section of pipe that was causing the sewer backups. Harris was able to temporarily clear the sewer line for minimal usage of the sewer while office staff worked on obtaining all of the required DEP, DOT permits and booking all required inspections for the start of work the next morning.The Harris Water field crew arrived at the location by 8 AM the next morning and began hand digging in the roadway for the new water main installation. The backhoe operator began digging on the property where the sewer line is located, the sewer line required a much deeper excavation than the water line which is why a backhoe was required to excavate for the sewer line. The water line was located 4’ below ground level and the sewer line was located 8’ below ground level.
Water Main Tunnels
Sewer repair on property
The water main and sewer line excavation were completed at the same time; the field crew now had to make the water main tunnels from the roadway to the property while a new 5’ section of cast iron sewer pipe was being installed on the property. By the time the sewer line repair was completed the crew was ready to pull the new copper water main through the tunnels, from the city main in the roadway to inside the house.
The entire job was completed within one day, including the DEP inspections and cleaning of the surrounding area for the replacement of all broken concrete to take place the next morning.