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Thread: Cleanout for Sewer Lateral

  1. #1

    Default Cleanout for Sewer Lateral

    I live in a townhouse which has the cleanout for the sewer lateral outside in front of the house. Recently the area surrounding my cleanout was re-paved with the result that rain/storm water flows into my cleanout (along with small debris that may be in the storm water). Before the re-paving this did not occur, but the re-paving resulted in a small stream of water flowing toward my clean-out and into it.

    Is this a problem? Will this overload the sewer lateral or cause it to clog (from the debris)

    I should also point out that I have a flat roof and the storm water from the roof flows into this same sewer lateral (roof drain is in the back of the house, so the roof water flows into a drain in the back of the house and goes through basement to sewer lateral in front of house and presumably (?) the pressure of this roof water would wash out any debris. Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking no big deal

    its best just forget about it....

    cant make a big difference either way...

    as long as the city does not come out
    and complain about storm water going into the sewer
    system and try to make you correct it...

    I doubt they will ever notice.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm missing something -- isn't the cleanout capped? How is rainwater/debris getting into the sewer?

  4. #4

    Default

    There's a cover on it which is basically vented to allow air in but the vents are pretty big (3" by 1/2") and there are about 3 or 4 of them.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default cleanout

    A true cleanout is not "vented". If it were a vent it would have been elevated so water could not enter it. Sso you either do not have a cleanout or it is being used as a drain.

  6. #6

    Default

    It was originally elevated but due to repaving (without removal of underlying pavement) it is no longer elevated. It is definitely a cleanout for the sewer lateral and it definitely does not have a solid top screwed on but one that is supposed to let in air.

  7. #7
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    I do suspect that it is a storm drain and not a sewer cleanout. A sewer cleanout cannot be open to the air. Most areas do not use house traps any more so your description does not make sense. You need to find out about this, becasue here in San Diego, at least , the fine for allowing storm drainage to flow into the sewer is like $1000 per gallon or something ridiculous likle that.

  8. #8

    Default

    It is definitely a clean out. The water dept has been here in the past and said that. It definitely accesses the sewer lateral going from the main sewer line into my home.

  9. #9
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    OK, I get the message. Now, we have to determine if it is supposed to be a vent, which I doubt, or if it should be capped. I suggest you contact a well-known contractor familiar with construction in your area to determine what should be done.

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