Video of sewers may find leaks

By on February 6, 2009

by Martha Quetsch
Televising the sewer lines in Elburn could show why many homes in Elburn had sewage backups during last September’s heavy rainstorm.

Televising sewer lines can reveal blockages, and show cracks, breaks or deterioration of a pipe. The televising is performed by a robotic camera that is lowered into a sewer line through a manhole.

Televising will allow village staff to locate possible leaks in the lines that allowed stormwater to overwhelm the sanitary sewer system after more than eight inches of rain fell within one hour on Sept. 13.

Elburn trustee Jeff Humm said the Village Board likely will decide within the next month whether to televise the lines.

Humm said during such unusually heavy rainfall, some sewer pipes are under water, so if the sewer system is not tight enough, water gets in to the lines.

The board also will consider approving smoke and dye tests, to see whether homeowners have illegally connected downspouts, sump pumps or storm drains into the sanitary sewer system.

“If you put smoke in the sanitary sewer and it comes out of the gutter, that indicates an illegal connection,” Humm said.

The areas of the village that were hit hardest by street stormwater flooding and residential sewage backups were the older parts of town and the Cambridge subdivision, because of its proximity to the wastewater treatment plant, Humm said.

Village engineer Bill Gain recently recommended the televising, whose cost will be determined.