Page 12 — Property Management Quarterly — October 2020 Englewood | Steamboat Springs | We Build: MultiFamily PROVIDENCE AT THE HEIGHTS Aurora, CO Maintenance W hen we think of a sewer or drain line, we all want to believe that what goes down the drain is no longer our problem. This belief that it’s “not our problem” once it is out of sight could not be further from the truth. What we put down the drain has just as much impact to the health of a plumbing sewer system as someone main- taining their drain lines. Below are some scenarios, as well as some best practices, to avoid costly repairs to your facility in the future. In 2016, Colorado passed an act to reduce water consumption rates for toilets – this required all toilets to be 1.28 gallons per flush, previously 1.6 GPF. The water conservation act also has encouraged manufacturers to limit the flow of water through their faucet designs – this is very important to understand as a sewer system operates best with a healthy amount of water flow. Water flow assists with the carrying of solid waste away from your building and into a much larger city main line. Consumer products, such as pre- moistened towelettes, can have a tremendous impact to a sewer sys- tem, causing significant backups to sewer lines especially when the facility has been fitted with water conserving fixtures. Drain clear- ing products are marketed very well and can be an effective way to quickly clear a drain. However, what is not explained is the poten- tial environmental impact a prod- uct can have or the damage that a product can have to the sewer system. There are many products that will eat away at the actual pip- ing or acceler- ate erosion of a system, causing failures and costly repairs. It’s crucial to let any tenants or homeowners know the harm of these products. A kitchen drain line is not a garbage can! A byproduct of cooking often is grease waste. Grease waste is the No. 1 contributor to a back-up in a kitchen sink and a close second is a jammed garbage disposal. Ensur- ing that tenants properly dispose of grease waste is very important. As grease waste enters a sewer line, it sticks to the inner wall of the pip- ing. This reduces the pipe diameter over time translating to an under- sized sewer system. If ignored, this will cause a backup – usually at the worst time. In a busy restaurant, food processing facility or other similar business, you’ll find that grease and other organic matter can build up quickly and must be cleared immediately. Lastly, the acts of nature wreak- ing havoc on a sewer main is a very common and well understood problem. Primarily, roots from trees and landscaping can intrude on a sewer main creating a natural dam in a plumbing system, which causes backups and costly repairs. This scenario is probably the most docu- mented and understood problem in the real estate landscape and with real estate professionals. The best solution to ensure a waste system stays in tip-top shape is to be mindful as to what goes down the drain. Avoid the new products that come out on the mar- ketplace that can have a negative effect on the sewer system. Utilize conventional methods for clear- ing drains. If you see a product you must try, check with your local pro- fessional and get educated on the negative impacts of that product as well as how it could impact your sewer system. Plumbing and drain profession- als have the expertise and special equipment needed to address a full range of commercial, industrial and multifamily plumbing and drain cleaning services. Having a routine check of the sewer system can give peace of mind that you are doing everything right. Routine camera inspections are a good way to deter- mine whether you “stay in your lane” or make a change and cable, or jet, a sewer line. Keeping on top of this is just as important as trim- ming a large tree limb hanging over the property or changing the oil in your automobile; these are things we as consumers do not even ques- tion, we just do it. s Keep drain and sewer maintenance top of mind Joe Brandenburg Account manager, MTech Mechanical Service Ely Hemmes, The Unfound Door High-pressure jetting is one way to clean sewer lines.