Keep All of Your Pipelines Safe

Many utility lines are installed utilizing trenchless methods, such as directional drilling or boring. These methods increase the risk of accidentally damaging other utility lines without realizing it, called a “crossbore”. This risk is especially true with sewer laterals that are not typically marked in a way that other utility workers can identify easily. Occasionally it will take years for the damage to become evident, often through a backup.

If you are a plumber or a homeowner trying to clear a sewer backup, follow these safety rules:

  • Call 811 for an emergency ticket prior to clearing the blockage. Once marked see if there is a chance a gas line or other utility crosses the blocked sewer line.
  • Prior to running an auger, also known as a root cutter, insert a camera into the sewer line and look for utility lines in the lateral.
  • If there is evidence of a gas line in the sewer line, do not run tools into the sewer line. Call Roanoke Gas at (540) 777-0623 for assistance in determining if the gas line is part of the blockage.
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