Service lines connect citizens to public sewer system

Originally Published 2/10/2016

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THE CLEAN WATER NASHVILLE PROGRAM is constructing sewer rehabilitation projects to renew sewer infrastructure and reduce overflows that may lead to water quality impairments. These sewer rehabilitation projects are located throughout the county, including large projects currently under construction in Council Districts 2, 5, 7, 8 and 29.

Rehabilitation projects focus on repairing sewers that are within Metro's rights-of-way or easements, repairing sewers buried under streets or alleys, located along creeks or streams, and in some cases, traversing along a property boundary. This work typically includes rehabilitation of a portion of private service lines also known as service laterals.

The service line is an underground pipe that conveys wastewater from a building, including residences, to the public sewer main. Depending on the location of the service lateral and its condition, the rehabilitation work may consist of digging and replacing the pipe or installing a liner to provide structural support and effectively seal the pipe.

In most cases, a cleanout will also be installed near the boundary between the private property and Metro's rights-of-way or easements. A cleanout is a vertical pipe that extends from the service line to the ground surface to provide access to the service line for cleaning, inspection and maintenance.

Cleanouts are typically constructed of PVC pipe and installed in a utility box near the property boundary.

According to Metro ordinances, the property owner owns and is responsible for maintaining the service line from the building to the public sewer main. If property owners experience any issue with current CWN repair work related to their service line, they should call Metro Water Services at (615) 862-4600.

To date, the Clean Water Nashville Program has repaired approximately 6,500 service laterals, and the work is just getting started. Over the long haul, discovery and repair of damaged service lines within Metro's rights-of-way or easements will number in the tens of thousands. Eliminating thousands of small leaks will add up to deliver big results when it comes to achieving system renewal and overall water quality improvement.

Eric Pescatore