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What is their purpose??


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I came across these sewer standoffs at an inspection of a 75+ year old home. I was able to pop a lid and look down, I saw water and the depth looks at least 8 feet. I thought that these mayu have carried gutter runoff at one time but i am not sure. There is no discharge at the road but I guess it could discharge to the sewer lateral, which would be bad. There is also a large cistern well the exterior of the property and at first I thought that they may have feed that but I think they run too deep. Any thoughts????

Thanks,

Matt

I added a pic of the well

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I have no doubt that they were rain drains for the downspouts. They could have lead to the sanitary sewer, a storm sewer, a dry well, or a cistern. Ask an experienced inspector in your neighborhood; he'll probably know.

In my area, they either lead to a dry well or to a sanitary sewer. For years, the City of Portland has been paying people $50 to disconnect their downspouts from the sewer drains because the stormwater often overburdens the sewage treatement facilities. When this happens, they seal the drains with a cap and a label that explains what was done.

Something similar might be going on in your area, or the underground drains might have simply failed.

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I have no doubt that they were rain drains for the downspouts. They could have lead to the sanitary sewer, a storm sewer, a dry well, or a cistern. Ask an experienced inspector in your neighborhood; he'll probably know.

In my area, they either lead to a dry well or to a sanitary sewer. For years, the City of Portland has been paying people $50 to disconnect their downspouts from the sewer drains because the stormwater often overburdens the sewage treatement facilities. When this happens, they seal the drains with a cap and a label that explains what was done.

Something similar might be going on in your area, or the underground drains might have simply failed.

Same here. It's illegal for downspouts or sump pumps (With a few exceptions, like those connected to clothes washers) to drain into the sanitary sewer. Our sewer system is too small, and the muni people have tried to buy some time before biting the bullet and upgrading the system.

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All of the combination rain drain lines that run into the sewer in this area are supposed to be trapped, correct? When disconnected, they are supposed to be capped/ sealed to prevent sewer gas escape, and to prevent debris from falling down into the line; that's my understanding at least......

Any easy way to tell where the rain drains run?

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All of the combination rain drain lines that run into the sewer in this area are supposed to be trapped, correct? When disconnected, they are supposed to be capped/ sealed to prevent sewer gas escape, and to prevent debris from falling down into the line; that's my understanding at least......

Any easy way to tell where the rain drains run?

I had not heard that they're supposed to be trapped. One of the ways they determine who's still hooked up is to blow smoke into the sewer and watch for smoke coming out of people's downspouts.

The downspout disconnect program is only on the east side of the Willamette, by the way.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Thanks Jim,

I was told that they are trapped by a sewer scope guy-- I asked him to scope a rain drain pipe in an older house, and he said he couldn't because they are trapped. Traps would make sense, so that sewer gases don't seep out at each opening. Only problem is that they could plug up fairly easily......

One of the ways they determine who's still hooked up is to blow smoke into the sewer and watch for smoke coming out of people's downspouts.

I wondered how that worked when there were traps installed???? Maybe the sewer scope guy was blowing smoke.

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For years, the City of Portland has been paying people $50 to disconnect their downspouts

I just looked up the current incentive to disconnect since I have a job out there tomorrow morning. The city will come out and disconnect/ do the work for free, or homeowners are eligible to do the work themselves and get paid up to $53.00 per eligible downspout.

The city also has a program called "Clean River Rewards"- owners get a stormwater utility discount as well. http://www.portlandonline.com/bes/index.cfm?c=41976

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The city of Lexington did a bunch of smoke testing around here not so long ago. Never did hear how many they found but i bet it was quite a few!

The notice: http://www.lexingtonky.gov/Modules/Show ... ntid=11899

included this language:

Any property that is identified as having an improper sanitary sewer connection will be notified by the

Division of Water Quality. In most cases, defects or improper connections on private property are the

responsibility of the property owner to repair. Homeowners and business owners are required to provide access to property for the inspection process to occur

-

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Jim,

I was told that they are trapped by a sewer scope guy-- I asked him to scope a rain drain pipe in an older house, and he said he couldn't because they are trapped. Traps would make sense, so that sewer gases don't seep out at each opening. Only problem is that they could plug up fairly easily......

One of the ways they determine who's still hooked up is to blow smoke into the sewer and watch for smoke coming out of people's downspouts.

I wondered how that worked when there were traps installed???? Maybe the sewer scope guy was blowing smoke.

I've had the exact same experience and was told the same thing... and wondered the same thing. I'm thinking it must be true or the sewer scoping guys would be using them... as opposed to running around the house for an hour and then eventually pulling a toilet or hauling a camera and equipment up onto a roof.

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