The Wastewater Division is dedicated and proud to provide our city with excellent and cost-effective service and environmentally safe disposal of waste products, We are also dedicated and happy to be serving our community and citizens with courtesy, professional and outstanding customer service.
- Maintain complete compliance with permit and regulatory requirements issued by federal, state, and local regulatory agencies;
- Prevent major disruptions of wastewater service to customers of the City's wastewater system;
- Identify and repair major sources of inflow and infiltration into the sanitary sewer system;
- Ensure wastewater infrastructure, construction, and engineering projects are executed quickly and efficiently in order to provide for the here and now and future wastewater requirements of the City of Lauderhill residents.
Many homes have two cleanouts. One is near the foundation of the house and the second is at or near the property line.
First, check the cleanout next to the house to see if it has water in it. If it contains no water, then you know the blockage is somewhere in the house plumbing. If there is water standing in the cleanout, the blockage is most likely in the line from the house to the main sewer line.
If there is a cleanout near your property line and you find water standing in it. You should discontinue using your facilities and contact the Wastewater Division at 954-730-4225.
If there is no cleanout at the property line and water is standing in a cleanout on your property, you should also contact the Wastewater Division.
If you have a blocked or stubborn drain, the first thing you want to do is reduce or eliminate the water you put in the lines to minimize the amount of damage you may do. Obviously, if you keep flushing a slow-moving toilet, it will overflow the bowl, damaging your floor.
Washing machines can create one of the biggest problems when your drains are running slowly. Washers use 15 to 20 gallons a load. This water could back up into toilets or showers, possibly causing overflow damage. It is relatively easy to find out if the blockage is in the house drains or in the sewer lines.
Tips on Dealing With Blocked Drains
Most homeowners have experienced a temporary blockage or sluggish drains in their plumbing. Minor blockages often can be cleared with a plunger.
Cooking grease, hair, food particles, toilet paper and roots often cause sluggish drains or line blockages. If they happen near the drain opening or toilet bowl, a plunger may be effective in clearing them. However, if the problem is some distance into a drain line, it may require a plumber to locate and snake the line.
What is a Sewer Easement?
A sewer easement is an area around the sewer pipes and manholes that are owned by the City so that we have access to the repair and maintain them. We own the sewer components as well so this gives us full and free right and authority to construct, maintain, repair, install, and rebuild facilities in, over, under, through, upon or across the easement area. If you put anything on top of the easement area, the City has the right to remove it to get to the components to repair or maintain them. The City's only obligation is to adequately fill and compact any excavation and return the ground to pre-development natural grade. No permanent improvements, except asphalt, concrete curbing, irrigation lines or sidewalks should be within a 5' strip on either side of the city lines.
What Is Infiltration and Inflow (I/I)?
Infiltration/Inflow (I/I) is clean storm and/or groundwater that enters the sewer system through cracked pipes, leaky manholes, or improperly connected storm drains, down spouts and sump pumps. Most inflow comes from stormwater and most infiltration comes from groundwater.
How do You Find I/I?
I/I is a result of groundwater or stormwater that flows into the sanitary sewer system due to leaky sewer lines or manholes or from situations where stormwater can flow into the sanitary sewer system through direct connections, such as catch basins or roof drain connections. Limiting I/I is important in order to maximize current capacity at our wastewater treatment facilities, to limit public health and safety problems, for environmental benefit, and to minimize the cost of treatment. If the system becomes overwhelmed, such as in a storm event, sewage can back up and cause potential overflows to the environment. While there are two general approaches to finding and dealing with I/I, there are a variety of methods to determine if and where the problems are located.
If you are proactively looking to find I/I, before there is a problem, there are several tests that can be used to examine the condition and susceptibility of the sanitary sewer system for I/I. A few of these tests include:
Smoke Testing Portions of the Sanitary Sewer Pipes
This method includes blowing smoke from a smoke bomb into a specific section of sewer pipe and observing and documenting where smoke exits. Depending on the specific circumstances, the exiting smoke can indicate the location of a broken pipe, manhole, catch basin, or where roof or foundation drains might be connected to the sewer system. This could show where infiltration or inflow might enter the sanitary sewer system.
By using a fluorizine dye, inappropriate connections can be determined. For instance, if a dye is introduced to a catch basin and the dye is then observed in the sanitary sewer downstream from that point, the evidence would indicate that that catch basin is directly connected to the sanitary sewer system.
Recording conditions using a TV camera within the pipes - TV cameras have been developed that can be slid down sanitary sewer lines and record a "movie picture" of the conditions that are found in that section of sewer. This can identify breaks, root intrusion, leaking water (especially infiltration from groundwater), and general deteriorating conditions. Estimates can be made for how much infiltration might occur from such leaks.
Finding I/I through passive detection methods really is a process of observing and noting where sewer flow problems occur. A prime indicator of I/I problems can be identifying where sewage flow backs up in the sewer system, resulting in environmental or public health concerns. Such backups can occur at sewage treatment facilities or in homes or businesses through drains, toilets or sinks, because a surcharge occurs in the sanitary sewer line. A surcharge is where sewage flows full in a sewage pipe and creates a pressure condition inside the pipe. This situation can force water back upstream, including up sewer lines and out openings in homes and businesses. Sewage flows can also back up and fill manholes to overflowing, resulting in untreated sewage flows being released to the environment causing potential environmental and public health concerns. The I/I Control Program is intended to reduce the incidence of this occurring.
How do You Reduce I/I?
Once an I/I problem has been identified, there are a number of ways I/I can be reduced. It is a goal of this program that pilot projects will demonstrate various infiltration and inflow removal technologies and techniques. There are many methods and technologies that are available to remove and reduce I/I. One primary method focuses on fixing the broken pipelines, manholes, and joints where they are below ground water. Another focuses on limiting the amount of I/I that enters the sanitary sewer system from storm events, such as rainstorms or snow melt through manhole lids, stormwater catch basins, house drains, and other direct connections. Specific techniques that are available for fixing infiltration are listed below:
Manhole to Manhole Lining:
- Deformed & Form
- Slip Lining
- Pipe Bursting
- Dig and Replace
- Spot Repairs - sectional cured in place liner
- Spot Repairs - dig and replace
- Side Sewer Connection Removal
- Side Sewer Repairs
- Exterior Coating or Grouting
- Interior Linings
- Lid Pans
- Raise or Replace Manhole Lids and Frames
- Surface Water Diversion From Manhole
Inflow can also be removed by a variety of techniques, but these usually require a direct disconnect of the sanitary sewer system from the inflow source. Below is a list of sample technologies and techniques that may be available:
- Raise manhole lids that are located in low areas where storm water may pond.
- Divert storm water that flows to manhole lids.
- Disconnect storm water catch basins that are connected to the sanitary sewer system.
- Disconnect roof, sump, and foundation drains that are connected to the sanitary system.
Measures You Can Take to Prevent Sewer Backups
The most common sewer problem facing a homeowner is a backup in the sewer line. Most backups can be prevented by taking notice of what is flushed down toilets and sinks.
DO NOT flush these items which can cause an immediate backup:
- Large quantities of toilet paper;
- Paper towels - they do not dissolve in water like toilet paper;
- Feminine napkins, tampons, and plastic applicators;
- Disposable diapers;
- Clothing - e.g., socks, underwear;
- Plastic products - plastic bags can get caught in the wastewater treatment process and must be physically removed;
- Any large items which can wedge in the pipes;
- Large quantities of substances which can swell with water - rice, corn, oatmeal, cereals;
- Scouring pads, sponges.
DO NOT flush or place down drains the following items which can contribute to a gradual loss of water flow leading to a backup:
- Large quantities of live seeds, beans, and peas - these can sprout and begin to grow in the lines;
- Grease, fats, oils - these substances cause a wax-like buildup which can reduce the diameter of pipes, clog lift station pumps, and lead to sewer backups. Grease, fats and oils are troublesome substances. Extra care should be taken to avoid disposing of them into the sewer system;
- Sand - sinks and bath tubs are equipped with "sand traps" to help keep sand from entering sewer pipes. Sand is heavier than water and will build up on the bottom of pipes;
- Fibrous materials - cotton balls, bandages, hair, rags, paper, cigarette butts - these substances can disintegrate, releasing individual fibers which snag in the lines and actually weave ropes or tangled masses resembling a mop; and
- Plastic, metal, or other non-soluble objects which become anchors for long fibers.
DO NOT flush flammable liquids, toxic chemicals, hypodermic needles or other products which may endanger public health or sewer workers.
Please Note: The Wastewater Collection Division is not permitted to do any work on private property; therefore, the homeowner or a plumber must resolve any problem between the wye and the house.