Information for Residents
Manholes are access points for the main sewer lines. They are generally located about every four hundred feet; however, this distance may vary. In Madisonville there are over twenty-six hundred manholes.
Manholes are not places for children to play. Inside of manholes gasses such as methane, hydrogen sulfide or lack of oxygen could cause death or permanent injury. If you see an un-secured or damaged manhole, please notify the Wastewater Collection Department at 821.3717.
Tree roots are the most common problem with sanitary sewer systems. Tree roots restrict or block flows in main lines and service laterals and cause thousands of dollars in damages each year.
Property owners are responsible for tree roots in the service lateral. Maple trees and Willow trees cause the most damage. The fine roots on these trees will work through the gaskets or cracks in the service and block the line. Tree roots are also the main problem in main sanitary sewers. Thousands of dollars of tax money is spent each year cutting roots from main lines.
When landscaping keep in mind the location of the main line and the service lateral. Careful planting will prevent future problems.
Replace clay or "orangeburg" pipe with PVC pipes. Install clean outs to allow access for root cutting.
Grease & Oil: Animal Fat or Petroleum Products
Grease in the sanitary sewer system acts like high cholesterol in the human blood stream. Grease buildups restrict the flow in the sewer system and in extreme cases cause blockages.
Private sewer laterals are not immune to grease blockages. The grease that is poured into the sink will stick to the walls of private lines as it cools causing blockages. The myth is that if you use hot water to flush the grease it will not stick. The grease may not block your sink, but will stick to the walls of your service lateral.
Restaurants are required to install and maintain grease traps. Grease traps have reduced grease buildups in the main sewer system.
Petroleum products are not allowed in the system at any time. The City and the EPA have strict penalties for disposing of petroleum into the sewer system. Tips: Cool your grease in the refrigerator and dispose with your trash. Flush your lateral at least once a year with a pressure hose.