How to save on sewer service-line repairs
First of two parts
It doesn't happen that often, but when it does it can be a crushing expense for a homeowner.
“It” is a broken sewer service line between the house and the Colorado Springs Utilities main in the street.
In the past, such a mishap would typically mean excavating a dozen feet or so down to the line and then replacing it in its entirety, at a cost of around $10,000 or more.
But new methods have become available in the last few years, ones that could save homeowners thousands of dollars, according to an interview with Mike Weber, the operations supervisor over water and wastewater inspections for the Utilities enterprise.
The issue was dramatized recently when Utilities was replacing the sewer mains in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood east of 31st Street last fall and discovered a broken service line from one of the houses. The only information the homeowner received at first was simply that he was responsible for his own line. This galvanized a neighbor, Terry Peet, into calling Utilities. He was pleased to learn there are options less expensive than a full pipe replacement.
Now, Peet said he wants to “get the word out” to others in the same plight as his neighbor. “People should not be taken to the cleaners by Bubba's Plumbing,” he said.
Weber described three “trenchless methods” that “could be less expensive, depending on the situation”:
1. Slip lining - This is where crews run a slightly smaller line through the old line.
2. Pipe bursting - A new line of about the same size is forced through the old line, breaking it open as it goes.
3. Cured in place - Probably the least expensive, this method involves blowing certain materials into the service line and mixing them with hot air to create a hard shell inside it. Before such work can occur, though, any roots that may have broken through the line (in quest of water) must be cut out and a special camera sent through to identify the exact problems inside.
Westside Pioneer article