What is a lateral sewer line? Why is it important? Read this article and find out!
While the underground pipes that lead to your house are designed to last for over 50 years, lots of things can happen to require their replacement sooner. For example, if you have kids, they can flush all sorts of things when you’re not paying attention.
You also have to put in the effort to keep your lateral sewer line clear. If you wonder what a lateral sewer line is, you likely don’t know it’s your responsibility to maintain it.
Cities and towns build primary lines that run along your block and connect to the main system. From that primary line, a lateral line runs toward your building. You need to deal with any issues with the lateral line. You usually pay for such concerns “out of pocket.”
Here are four things you need to know about your lateral line and how to manage it.
1) It’s Your Responsibility, Not Your City’s
If your kids do flush toys, clothing and random things down the toilet, those objects might never make it through your lateral line. As they collect, they obstruct the line and create blockages. Those blockages are your responsibility, not your city or town.
You can get a relatively inexpensive assessment done by a plumbing company. They can tell you if they see blockages when you deal with a sewer problem.
2) Watch Out For Trees
The trees on your commercial property or residential property could be one big reason you have sewer issues. Your lateral lines can be bent, crushed and even punctured by tree roots. A large root could squeeze your pipes so tightly that water no longer runs through them.
If you have the added bonus of thick toilet paper, random objects or feminine hygiene products in there, you’ve got a recipe for serious lateral sewer line problems.
3) Check Before You Dig
If you didn’t build your house, you might not know where the lines are located. Lateral sewer lines could be just a few feet below the surface of your lawn.
It’s common for them to even stick up from the ground over time due to erosion or weather changes.
4) Follow Your Nose
A smell emanating from your lawn could be the sign of a sewer break. If you smell something that reminds you of raw sewage, call an expert. Sewage could destroy your property and make it hazardous for kids to play outside.
Now You Know What Is A Lateral Sewer Line
A problem with your lateral sewer line could cause damage to the foundation of your property or even damage your neighbor’s property. If you haven’t checked yours in a while and have drainage issues, call in an expert. If you smell something coming from your drain pipes, have a professional investigate.
If you’re interested in learning more of the common concepts in plumbing, check out our glossary of terminology to stay informed.