Why Are Manhole Covers Round?

Have you ever wondered why manhole covers are round? There are plenty of shapes that could have been chosen for manhole covers, so why a circle?

Well, according to the book, Ask a Science Teacher by Larry Scheckel, there are a few reasons why these covers are round. In this post, we’ll take a look at his explanations and then answer a few other questions about manhole maintenance and repair.

Why Does Scheckel Think Manholes Are Round?

Read through the following reasons that Scheckel thinks manholes are round. Do you agree with them?

•    Manholes are round to “resist the compression of Earth around it.”

•    Round accessories are easier to manufacture than rectangles or square.

•    When something is round and heavy, it’s easier to move than other shapes.

•    Installation goes faster because plumbers don’t have to match angles. The round design makes it easy for the covers to slip right in place.

•    Circular covers can’t fall through the opening.

This last point is probably the most important for commercial property owners because it means that the circular design prevents damage to the cover. Whenever a manhole is created, there is a lip around the hole’s rim. This lip holds the cover in place. In order for this to happen, the underlying hole has to be smaller than its cover. Because round covers can’t be installed incorrectly, there’s no chance of the cover falling into the hole. This isn’t the case with either rectangle or square shapes. If the cover’s installed at an angle, even slightly, this could cause the cover to fall into the hole and cause damage.

A missing manhole cover as the result of falling into the hole isn’t just a cosmetic problem and it doesn’t just damage underground sewer pipes. If you have a cover that suddenly falls below the surface, this spells bad news for pedestrians and drivers who aren’t paying attention. Yikes!

So, there you have Scheckel’s explanation for why manhole covers are round. Now, let’s talk about why manhole covers are important for your underground pipes.

Manhole Thefts Are on the Rise

You might wonder why someone would want to steal manhole covers. Monetary gain is usually the #1 reason for thievery and manhole covers are no exception. The simple fact is that manhole covers can be recycled for money, which makes them enticing for people looking to score a little extra cash. However, if you have missing covers on your property this leaves your underground sewer pipes exposed and accessible to anyone. It also puts you in a position for being liable should someone accidentally fall in the hole.

Those two reasons are why it’s important to take extra precautions to ensure manhole protection. So, what can a utility service do to keep their covers in place? Here are a few suggestions.

Consider Welding

Some municipalities have started welding their covers to stop thievery. However, this might not be the most cost-effective solution if sewer contractors need to gain access to the manhole. You’ll have to go through the expense of hiring someone to break the welded seal.

Bolt in Place

A better solution could be bolting the cover in place using a 5/8-inch hex-head bolt. The bolt works well with a standard locking head and is a great deterrent. Why? Well, you might think a bolt is easy to remove with the right tools, but that’s exactly the point. Most thieves don’t have a 5/8 Allen wrench handy to remove a bolted manhole cover.

Consider Installing Plastic Manhole Covers

While plastic manhole covers aren’t standard in the United States, the U.K. has been using plastic covers in an attempt to prevent manhole cover robberies. The country decided to start using plastic covers because they don’t have any scrap value since there’s no metal in them.

Install a GPS Tracker

This might seem a bit extreme, but if you’re constantly getting targeted by scrap metal thieves, a bug can help you track down your covers. At the very least, develop relationships with recycling centers in the area and notify them when covers go missing.

Preventing manhole cover theft saves municipalities money and keeps the public safe. So, take whatever precautions necessary to make sure nothing goes missing on your watch!

Do you need to make manhole repairs? If so, contact Street Works Engineering. We’re available 24/7 for all emergency commercial plumbing and street work services. Call us at (888) 377-4002.

3 Signs Your Underground Sewer Pipes or Manhole Enclosures Need Repairing

As a building owner or manager, it’s your responsibility to do regular audits of your facilities sewer and manhole utilities. Doing so helps you to avoid expensive repairs as well as liability issues. Unfortunately, many building operators aren’t aware of where their sewer drains and manholes are located on their property. If you’re in this camp, let us offer a little help. These components to your outdoor plumbing system are typically found in alleys, parking lots, easements, and in yards.

With the right type of maintenance and consideration, most people believe that sewer drains and their apparatuses have the ability to last a lifetime.  While it’s true that these parts of the commercial plumbing system have a reputation for longevity, it’s also a fact that their lifespans can be cut short because of their exposure to outdoor elements. This exposure often leads to deterioration and requires immediate repair to prevent further problems.

What deterioration? That’s a great question that we’re going to address in this post.

Pooling Water

Water that begins to pool on top of your parking lot or another paved surface should never be ignored. It’s not just an inconvenient problem, it’s a drainage issue that needs to be taken care of right away. The longer you allow pooling water near curbs or manholes, the higher the chances are that you’re going to create major problems for vehicles and pedestrians. Building owners who don’t take care of these issues quickly often find that they need more expensive repairs sooner. Another issue that you need to keep an out for is sand or rocky streaks forming in low spots in the paved areas.

So, what causes pooling issues? There are usually two reasons that these issues happen. The first is improper slope planning when the surface was paved. It’s essential to have a sloped in your parking lot in order for water to make its way into the drains. The second reason for pooling water is inaccessible inlets in grassy areas for water to access during heavy rains or long period of rainfall. Both of these issues are something that you need to address to fix pooling water problems and protect your sewer system.

Sewer Blockages

Another common problem that causes sewer pipe repair is the buildup up waste that washes into the sewer drains. Everyone knows that waste from toilets and sinks go into the sewer system, but many people don’t realize that liquid in parking lots also make their way into the pipes. This type of waste often includes things such as leaves, trash, sticks, and chemicals from vehicles. If too much waste gets into the storm drainage part of the sewer system, this causes pipes to crack and also causes pipes to back up.

Do you have trees or large bushes planted in or around your building’s parking lot? If so, this is another reason for sewer line repair and manhole problems. Root intrusion causes pipes to break and makes it impossible for your sewer system to do its job.

Building owners can prevent these types of sewer repairs by staying on top of parking lot maintenance. By keeping parking lots clean and free of debris, you prevent excessive amounts of waste from entering the sewer system. Also, consider the benefits of video sewer camera inspection services to spot signs of impending trouble.

Deterioration Around Manholes

Have you noticed significant deterioration around the manhole covers in your parking lot? This isn’t as uncommon as you might imagine. Extreme weather and erosion affect the stability of the brick and concrete surfaces that support manhole covers and catch basins. Additionally, allowing pooling water to continue to exist is another reason you might need to repair manholes. Once the concrete or brick supports have been compromised, manholes covers begin to sink and cause serious problems for vehicles and people walking in the area. Get a handle on these issues before they become expensive problems. Building owners can do this by inspecting catch drains and manhole cover enclosures frequently.

Have you noticed problems in your parking lot that you think could be related to a sewer drain or manhole enclosure problem? If so, contact a bonded sewer contractor right away. At Street Works Engineering, we offer underground sewer pipe services and manhole cover services in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Bernardino County. Call us today at (888) 377-4002 to discuss your problem at length.

How to Hire the Best Crew for Underground Utility Excavation Services

When you need underground sewer pipe repair or water main installation, it’s important to hire the best contractors for the job. Doing so, safeguards your project against unexpected problems that could cause your building to shut down temporarily. We don’t have to tell you that even the slightest amount of downtime can have huge effects on your bottom line. So, when you need to hire a crew for underground utility repairs, consider the following to find the best team.

Sewer Pipe Locating Services

Before digging begins, it’s important to know what types of utilities are underneath the surface. This doesn’t just mean the ones that need servicing. Ideally, you have this information from when you bought the property or when you had utility locating service done. However, as we all know, we don’t live in an ideal world. The majority of commercial properties change hands and this information gets lost in the exchange. Or, the information is outdated because of recent renovations or changes to the building’s footprint.

Regardless, it’s critical that you hire commercial sewer contractors who take pipe location very seriously. Contractors who start excavation work without knowing what types of underground lines are in the vicinity should be avoided at all costs. Instead, only hire contractors who understand the importance of protecting all types of underground utility lines.

Hydro-Excavation Services

Some companies offer what is called hydro-excavation. This is a great option for working around underground utilities. When soil needs to be removed around underground lines, hydro-excavating uses a vacuum truck and high-pressure water to do this safely and avoid disturbing lines.

Isn’t hydro-excavating more expensive?

That’s the rumor, but sewer contractors who use this method argue that it’s much more cost-effective than hand-digging during excavation to avoid damaging perfectly good lines. Contractors also stress that hydro-excavating increases safety on the job and reduces energy. When heavy equipment isn’t used to move dirt, there’s less of a chance of being injured because an electrical line was hit.

While this method is suitable for every job, it might be for yours. Check with your sewer contractor to find out if hydro-excavation is an option.

Responding to Surprises

When searching for a contractor for underground work, learn as much as you can about their past jobs. Also, ask them if they ever ran into any problems and how they handled those issues. Running into a problem doesn’t make the contractor unworthy of your business. In fact, it’s unusual for unexpected problems not to pop up here and there. Surprises come with the job. What you want to know is how well the crew responded to the challenge. Did they stop work right away and formulate a plan? Did they communicate with the business and let them know what was happening? The answers to these questions help you determine how well the team manages obstacles.

Safety Record

Many excavation jobs that involve large-diameter underground sewer pipes often require digging underneath streets and sidewalks. These are public-right-of-way areas. If you have a job that requires this type of digging, it’s important to know that the crew has a clean safety record. What type of safety restrictions do they put in place around the area to make sure that the public isn’t in any danger? Do they manage traffic flow well? How many people will be onsite working on the line versus how many will be managing the safety aspects? Knowing this information is important so the public isn’t put at risk during the repair. The last thing you want is to be liable for accidents caused by inept contractors.


It is essential that you only hire bonded sewer contractors that are approved by the city. These individuals have the authority to pull permits. They have permission to dig under public-right-of-way areas. Never assume that a commercial plumbing company has these credentials. In fact, if you’re looking for a contractor for the first time, contact your city to get a list of approved contractors.

Do you need a city-approved sewer contractor in Los Angeles? Street Works Engineering has the credentials to do all underground sewer line repairs and water main installation. Contact us today at (888) 377-4002 for 24-hour emergency commercial plumbing services in L.A. County, San Bernardino County, and Orange County.

Tips for Controlling Root Growth in Sewer Lines

Residential and commercial sewer lines in Los Angeles are equally susceptible to root intrusion. Unfortunately, many commercial property owners don’t realize that their underground sewer pipes are at risk of developing this problem. Whether it’s the misconception that large-diameter sewer pipes are immune to the issue or it’s just something that isn’t acknowledged doesn’t matter in the long run. What does matter is being proactive and taking the right steps to protect your building’s sewer system from being infiltrated by tree roots.

What Is Tree Root Intrusion?

We all know that trees grow vertically. What many people don’t realize is that they also grow horizontally; their root bases grow horizontally, that is. Small trees have root bases that don’t grow too fast or too big, but some tree species have fast-growing root bases that extended up to 10 feet out from the base of the tree. Of course, you never see the root base because it’s always underground. For this reason, many people are taken by surprise when their sewer contractor tells them they have root intrusion.

Intrusion happens when the tree’s root base starts to grow in or around the sewer pipe. Sometimes the intrusion isn’t a major problem. It’s just a few roots that can easily be hydro-jetted away. Other times the problem is so severe that sewage can’t move through the pipe and it begins to back up into the building.

How to Determine if Root Intrusion Is a Problem

If you have large trees planted near the sewer line on your property, it’s important to have regular video sewer camera inspection services. Once a year, have a sewer contractor run a camera through the pipe to make sure that roots haven’t started growing into the pipe. During the inspection, the sewer contractor also looks for signs of damage to the sewer pipe. While damage doesn’t necessarily mean there’s root intrusion to worry about, it does set the scene for potential problems.

Roots grow in the direction of water and nutrients. If you have a sewer pipe that’s cracked, it means that it has the potential to leak. Roots are more likely to grow into cracked sewer pipes that those that are intact. Fix any cracks to make sure that roots aren’t going to be a problem.

Regular Hydro-Jetting

Another way to keep roots from causing problems is to stop small problems before they get bigger. An easy way to do this is to have annual sewer cleaning services. Hydro-jetting is a great way to get rid of small roots and keep the problem at bay.

Remove the Trees

If you’re continuously dealing with root growth in sewer pipes, consider removing the trees and their stumps. While tree removal can be costly, it does save you the expense and inconvenience of sewer line replacement.

Plant the Right Type of Trees

For building owners interested in planting trees on their property, it’s a good idea to work with a tree service to find out which trees have slow-growing root systems. The best trees to plant in a yard include the following:

•    Mediterranean fan palms

•    Many fruit tree species

•    Certain cypress and cedars

•    Wafer Ash

•    Sabal palmetto

•    Magnolias

These are low-risk plants that look great and can be planted anywhere in the yard.

Now, what about the trees to avoid? Keep the following high-risk trees at least 10 feet from the sewer line or consider avoiding planting them altogether:

•    Sycamore trees

•    Willows

•    Oak and fig trees

•    Maple trees

•    Aspen trees

•    Elm trees

•    Birch trees

Need Sewer Line Replacement? Use the Right Type of Pipe

Some pipe material is more susceptible to cracks. If you find yourself in a position where you need to replace a sewer line and have trees on the property, consider steel or PVC pipes. These pipes are the least susceptible to root intrusion.

If root intrusion is a problem you’ve been dealing with for some time, contact Street Works Engineering for commercial sewer line services in Los Angeles. We offer trenchless pipe lining service as an added layer of protection for low-to-moderate root intrusion as well as other valuable underground services. Our sewer specialists clear roots and get your sewer system working as good as new in no time at all. Call us today at (888) 377-4002.

Dig-free Sewer Repair Solutions for Municipal Services

When unforeseen problems happen to underground sewer utilities, we know that municipalities are under a lot of stress to figure out the best solution fast. At Street Works Engineering, we know how important it is for cities to have access to affordable sewer repair solutions that are quick and don’t inconvenience the public. The best methods that make these types of repairs go smooth and fast are dig-free sewer repair methods such as the following:

•    Hydro-jetting

•    Lateral pipelining

•    Lateral reinstatement

•    Localized point repair

•    Manhole-to-manhole trenchless pipelining and,

•    Pipe locating

How the Dig-free Process Works

Before any repair work on municipal water or sewer pipelines is started, it’s essential to know what’s going on below the surface. This is done using high-quality video inspection equipment to identify the problem, the precise location, and the extent of the damage. Knowing this information allows bonded sewer contractors to formulate a solid plan for repair or replacement.

Often municipalities will also ask sewer contractors to use their video equipment to help them locate pipes and lines that could be affected during the repair. These utility lines include telephone and cable lines, septic lines, gas, electric, and other utility lines. Even though sewer contractors won’t be working on these lines, it’s critical that their location is known in order to prevent accidents. When sewer lines have been damaged and need repairing, this affects city residents. The last thing municipalities want is to have another essential line damaged that inconveniences their residents.

Once it’s determined what the problem is, the right trenchless method is chosen. There are a couple different options that sewer contractors have to choose among. Two popular options include the following:

  • Pipe bursting: This method is used when the entire line needs to be replaced. Instead of digging up the soil along the entire line, contractors insert the pipe bursting tool into the entry point. This tool is used to break up the old pipe into fragments and allows a brand new pipe to be laid in place behind the old line as it’s broken up.
  • Pipe relining: When only sections of pipe are broken, pipe relining is the preferred trenchless method. Sewer contractors reline the damaged section of pipe using an epoxy coating. One of the benefits of this type of repair is that it makes the existing pipe twice as sturdy as before. 

Why Municipalities Choose Trenchless Methods

Not only are trenchless methods less destructive, but they’re also extremely safe. Unlike excavating damaged lines and potentially causing damage to other utilities, trenchless pipe repair is straightforward and carries less risk. It also doesn’t require streets and sidewalks to be blocked off for days or weeks at a time like traditional pipe repair often does. In many cases, trenchless pipe repair is completed within a day.

Another reason for choosing trenchless pipelining is affordability. Municipalities already have tight operating budgets. The last thing they need is to deal with a sewer pipe problem that’s going to cost five-figures to fix. The exact cost of trenchless lining services is determined by the extent of the problem, but in most cases, trenchless lining costs significantly less.

What Is Manhole-to-Manhole Lining

This is another type of no-dig underground sewer line repair. It’s like trenchless cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining, but the entry points to make the repairs are the manhole openings. Anytime that plumbers have the ability to use pre-existing entry points it makes the job go faster and greatly reduces labor and material costs. When manhole-to-manhole lining is available, municipalities are happy! It’s a quick and affordable way to achieve municipal sewer line repair.

Do you need municipal sewer line services in Southern California? Contact Street Works Engineering. We’re a commercial plumbing service with bonded sewer contractors who work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We assist municipalities throughout Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties with affordable and professional underground pipe repairs all day, every day. Count on our crew for attention to detail and quality, long-lasting repairs. Our licensed plumbing team is available today to fix those nagging sewer and water main problems and keep your constituents happy.

Contact Street Works Engineering, a locally-owned commercial plumbing service, for all your municipal underground pipe services at (888) 377-4002.

Is There a Sewer Crisis in America?

It’s hard to imagine that how Americans use the bathroom has changed so much since the first sewer pipes were laid. However, ask any sewer contractor in Los Angeles, and you’ll likely hear some stories that will make you cringe. The truth is that toilet usage has changed a lot over the years and the sewer infrastructure isn’t strong enough to handle the influx of non-organic and organic waste, especially commercial sewer systems.

According to a 2015 story published by The Atlantic, “Flushing the Toilet Has Never Been Riskier.” As local sewer contractors who work on commercial sewer pipes every day, we couldn’t agree more, and the problem is only getting worse.

Waste Removal Isn’t Magic

Yet, when you ask people where waste goes when toilets are flushed, you get some looks. Although most people have a general idea of what happens, the whole process is still kind of a mystery. Now, 20% of people who use septic systems know what happens because they’re responsible for the maintenance. It’s the other 80% that don’t quite understand that sewer pipes aren’t magical tunnels to another dimension called “municipal water-treatment plants.” This is where the problem originates, especially for commercial building owners trying to maintain their plumbing lines.

So what are the problems exactly?

Some of the problems have to do with how people use, or rather misuse toilets, and also with aging treatment plants and private property sewer infrastructure. Let’s talk about the first problem.

Toilets Are Not Trashcans

Most people know that you can’t flush anything other than toilet tissue and organic waste. However, there are plenty of companies that produce products that have become widely used and the disposal information given out about these products is misleading, which leads to confusion.

For examples, 50 years ago tampons and personal cleansing wipes weren’t widely used products. Because they weren’t used at much (or at all), they weren’t being flushed and pushed through the sewer system. Today, these products are used all the time and marketed as being flushable. Unfortunately, the sewer systems of yesterday aren’t designed to handle the waste of today, which leads to major clogs in municipal waste-treatment plants.

Commercial buildings also deal with overuse and misuse, especially in venues like stadiums, arenas, and commercial restrooms that serve thousands of people daily. Not only does the drain and sewer system get inundated with feminine hygiene products and wipes, but other things like paper cups, paper towels, diapers, food wrappers, and other objects that should never be flushed. Unfortunately, people don’t treat public restroom facilities with the same cautiousness that they give to their own bathrooms at home. Often, this behavior is the result of believing that commercial bathrooms are able to withstand different types of waste products.

Aging Sewer Infrastructure

The other problem that makes using toilets riskier and riskier from a plumbing perspective is that many of the sewer pipes that travel from private properties to water-treatment plants are brittle and close to failure. Years ago, sewer pipes were designed to handle smaller waste loads. Yet, as populations in cities around the country have increased and rural areas have turned into thriving suburban and urban areas seemingly overnight, the sewer pipes aren’t in good enough shape to handle the heavier waste loads. This means that commercial property owners are finding themselves dealing with sewer breaks more often and facing expensive repairs.

Commercial Sewer Solutions

So, where does this impending sewer crisis leave business owners? Well, it means that commercial property owners need to make their sewer pipes a priority. It means that they can’t just assume that everything is work fine and then deal with the problems when they happen. Operating in this manner puts your business at risk because often when the problems do pop up, they’re very serious and involve expensive repairs and eat into your company’s revenue.

At Street Works Engineering, we work with commercial sewer lines on a daily basis. We deal with large-diameter sewer pipes that are several decades old, and we get up close and personal with some of the nastiest problems. To stay ahead of potentially serious issues, we recommend that all commercial property owners have their sewer lines inspected for signs of damage. We also recommend a thorough sewer line cleaning to get rid of decades’ old sludge. Sewer video inspection services and cleaning services are an invaluable part of keeping your sewer system working properly.

Also, remind employees, customers, and anyone else using the restroom facilities in your building to be careful about how they use the toilets and sinks. Sometimes people just need a little education about how to treat commercial plumbing.

Do you need commercial sewer line repair, replacement, or maintenance service in Los Angeles? Contact Street Works Engineering. Our city-approved and bonded sewer contractors fix underground sewer and water main lines throughout the region. Call us today at (866)-377-4002 to schedule an appointment!

6 Reasons Lift Pumps Fail

Commercial septic systems sometimes need to remove wastewater from the premises moving from a low-pressure to a high-pressure environment. Wastewater is removed in this manner in order to overcome issues related to gravity and geographical obstacles. In order for this to happen, the septic system must use lift pumps. These pumps move waste into a drainfield for safe filtering. Unfortunately, lift pumps can fail just like any other mechanical part of the system. When they do fail, commercial septic tank owners typically notice that the tank begins to overflow or develop a bad smell. To know if this is the issue you’re dealing with, check out our troubleshooting tips to determine if you need professional commercial septic tank services.


You can learn a lot about your building’s septic system by listening to it, especially when you’re dealing with the lift pump. If the lift pump sounds like its operation keeps getting interrupted or it’s not making any sound, it’s very probable that it has jammed or become clogged.

It’s not uncommon for lift pumps to develop clogs. The good news is that clogs are easily removed, and the pump should work good as new.


Sometimes wastewater and effluent back up into the septic system. When this happens, the culprit is usually a faulty valve. The valve isn’t creating enough pressure and allowing leaks. If the pressure isn’t the issue, it could be that the valve is cracked or the seal needs replacement. In order to stop the leak and get the lift pump working again, you need to have the valve fixed.

Float Problems

Some lift pumps use a float. This device is used to check sewage levels. However, sometimes the float gets damaged or it becomes stuck. When this happens, the lift pump won’t work. Often, all you need to do is fix whatever’s causing the float to stick. In some instances, you need to completely replace the float. Check with your septic tank specialists to figure out the best solution.

Too Much Water

Do you have a time-dosed system? If so, you might end up with this problem. In this situation, the tank takes on too much water too fast. The lift pump isn’t able to clear out the tank in enough time and problems like spillage occur. Most of the time, all you need to do is adjust the timing of the septic system and the problem goes away.

Wiring Problems

Does it appear that your lift pump isn’t working at all? If it’s not working and doesn’t respond to the previous troubleshooting techniques, there’s a good chance that you have a wiring problem. Start by checking your circuit breaker to make sure it’s getting power. If the circuit breaker looks good, use a multimeter device to check that the wires to the septic system to see which are getting power and those that aren’t. This helps you narrow down what wires need replacing.

A Bad Motor

If it doesn’t appear to be a wiring problem and electricity is getting to the pump, it’s likely you’re dealing with a bad motor. Unfortunately, when you find yourself in this situation, it’s best to call for professional septic tank repair services to replace the motor.

Taking Care of Commercial Septic Tank Parts

Like any sort of plumbing fixture, mechanical parts break down and some parts need replacement sooner than others. Commercial septic systems take on large waste loads and require frequent maintenance to make sure everything runs smoothly, including the lift pumps. With regular maintenance checks, it’s easier to spot small problems that have the potential to shut down your system.

Do you need commercial septic tank maintenance or repair services? If so, contact Street Works Engineering. Our sewer and septic contractors work on commercial-grade septic tanks all the time and know the most common problems that happen to high-volume tanks. We know how to identify problems quickly and make accurate diagnosis and repairs.

Don’t let septic tank problems cause your business to shut down because of raw sewage backups or spills. Instead, contact the local pros with 30+ years of serving the communities of Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Bernardino. We’re ready to send someone right now. So, call Street Works Engineering at (866) 377-4002.

How to Know When to Choose Commercial Septic Tank Repair or Replacement?

When sewage backs up into your building or customers start complaining about bad smells from the bathroom, this means something is wrong with your commercial septic system. Whether or not you need septic tank repair or replacement depends on what’s actually causing the problem and the cost to fix the issue. Some commercial septic tank repairs cost only a few hundred dollars to fix like when there’s a broken pipe. However, if the drainfield needs replacement or there’s an equally serious issue, repair costs quickly skyrocket to as much as $10,000 or more.

It’s always a good idea to contact a commercial septic contractor to check out the problem before you jump to any conclusions about repair or replacement. Of course, we know that everyone likes to have an idea of what’s going on before a commercial plumber arrives on the scene. So, keep reading to learn more about when repairs will do the trick and those times when septic tank replacement is the only option.

When to Repair the Problem

The good news is that many septic problems are easy to solve and require simple repairs. For examples, when there’s standing water, or a sewage odor occurs between the septic tank and the drainfield, this is often an indication that there’s a broken pipe. With advanced treatment systems, the same symptoms often require your septic maintenance professional to adjust or replace a part.

Do you have an aerobic treatment unit? This is a septic unit that aerates the tank in order to break down the waste faster. If your building uses one of these units and you’ve shut down for the holidays or for another extended time period, it’s possible that bacteria have died off. In this case, you simply need to give the system time for the bacteria to repopulate and do its job.

When to Replace System Components

It’s unfortunate, but if your septic tank’s drainfield has failed, it often means you need to replace a part of or all the septic system. Commercial property owners facing this situation have a few options. Speak directly with a septic specialist to discuss these options and discuss pricing. It’s hard to give an exact price for replacement in a blog post because we need to see the area that’s affected in person.

Even in instances where the drainfield is broken, the actual septic tank may still be okay. When you’re able to reuse the tank, this saves money and it keeps your building’s landscaping or yard intact. However, sometimes commercial property owners decide to go ahead and replace the tank or move it to another location that’s better suited. Again, this is something to discuss with your septic professional.

Getting it Fixed

Your local health department and state environmental agency have special procedures in place that must be followed exactly when repairing or replacing a system. To begin with, you must always have the work done by a qualified septic tank company. Also, make sure that the company you choose has experience working with commercial-sized septic tanks. Residential plumbers won’t do for this type of job.

Do you own commercial property in Southern California? If so, contact Street Works Engineering. Our team of commercial plumbers works on commercial septic systems. We are approved to start working on these systems today and are authorized to pull all necessary permits. When you hire SWE, we promise to work with you to find the most economical solution for your septic tank issues. We’ll present you with options for repairs when necessary and walk you through the septic tank replacement process if this is what is the best course of action.

For commercial septic services in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Bernardino County contact Street Works Engineering today at (866) 377-4002.

Why You Need an Effective Stormwater Management System

Does your company have an efficient stormwater management system in place? Rain is always welcome, especially when it’s been weeks since even a sprinkle fell from the sky. However, if your commercial property’s drainage system isn’t properly maintained, even the smallest amount of rain can spell trouble for your property.

When stormwater has nowhere to go, it doesn’t take long for this problem to turn costly. Unfortunately, not every property owner knows how to manage stormwater. In fact, many commercial properties don’t have any clue about the state of the drainage system. In this post, we take a closer look at the red flags that let you know you have a problem and the ways that poor stormwater management can wreak havoc on your property.

Red Flags You Should Never Ignore

It’s not hard to determine if your property has drainage issues. In fact, once you read this list, you probably won’t be too surprised, especially if you already suspected you had a problem. So, here we go. The following are 10 signs of poor drainage you should NEVER ignore:

1.    Water that backs up into your building

2.    Any washout areas

3.    Cracks or uneven spaces on paved areas (including courtyards, parking lots, and sidewalks)

4.    Exposed roots popping through the surface (trees and plants)

5.    Unintentional low areas in landscaped sections of your property

6.    Diseased or dying landscaping

7.    Standing water that lasts for an extended period

8.    Sinkholes

9.    Silt build-up

10.    Unusual or increased insect presence

If you notice any of these issues, contact a commercial plumber who offers storm drain management services. Even the slightest issue requires immediate attention and here’s why.

What’s at Risk

It doesn’t take a lot of water to cause expensive problems. That’s why we stress the importance of identifying problems right away. Commercial property owners who wait to take care of stormwater issues put their business at risk.

•    When you have drainage issues, it makes your building look bad. People don’t want to do business with companies that can’t or won’t take care of their buildings.

•    Drainage issues cause insect problems that can have serious health consequence. Can you say mosquitos? Even if mosquitos don’t carry the Zika virus, you still don’t want your customers or employees to have to deal with the consequences of a bite.

•    Drainage problems also create serious liability issues for tenants and guests.

•    Standing water also causes structural issues that have costly consequences and could even shut your business down while repairs are made.

•    Business owners who address storm management problems not only protect the value of the property but also improve overall water quality. True story!

We think you get our point. It’s important to have a plan.

The Best Time to Address Storm Drain Issues

You might think we’d say anytime and, yes, it’s true that you can fix these problems any time, there is an optimal time to do so. We suggest tackling drainage issues during a timeframe when the area is receiving a good deal of rainfall.

Wait? Didn’t you just say I need to have a plan in place before heavy rain arrives?

Well, you can’t have a plan until you know what’s wrong. When the area is dry, it’s hard for storm drain specialists to identify potential problems. It’s when the rain begins falling that water problems become easier to spot.

Another time to consider looking into your stormwater management plan is when you’re in a “fat season.” This is the time of year when many property owners have more money in their budgets to take on new projects. For a lot of business owners, this is in the fall, but you have to determine the time that’s best for you.

How Much Does Bad Drainage Cost Companies?

It really just depends on when you catch the problems. If drainage issues have been happening for a while, it’s possible that there’s more damage than what you can see by the naked eye. The longer you wait to take care of the problems, the more money you’ll end up spending hiring a commercial plumbing company to come out and take care of the problem. Not only will you have plumbing costs, but there could also be construction costs associated with building rehabilitation.

Ignoring unsafe conditions also means you risk legal problems. If tenants, customers, or other visitors slip and fall because of standing water, you risk the cost associated with liability issues.

Another cost you could incur could be fines or fees for failure to abide by local codes. Commercial properties are required by nearly every municipality to maintain and make improvements to their stormwater management as needed.

Does Your Commercial Property Need Stormwater Management Help?

Street Works Engineering is a commercial plumbing service in Los Angeles, CA, that specializes in commercial plumbing such as storm drain cleaning and installation, catch basin repair and trenchless drain services. If you’re having stormwater drainage issues, contact us today to take care of these problems once and for all.

Learn How to Manage Stormwater Drainage Issues

Does your commercial property have outdoor drainage issues? Don’t worry. If you do, you’re not alone. Many businesses throughout Southern California could use a little help with their stormwater management. Clogged storm drains, damaged catch basins, and a lack of trench drains are common reasons for drainage problems. The good news is that once you identify drainage issues you can get to work fixing the problems before it ends up costing you a lot of money.

How to Fix Poor Drainage Issues

If you notice signs of poor drainage, first contact a commercial plumber in your area who has experience dealing with these types of problems. At Street Works Engineering, we work with numerous underground utilities that include storm drainage systems, manholes, and catch basins. Our team handles storm water issues for many commercial properties throughout Southern California.

Once you get a plumber on the scene, they will investigate the problem and recommend the right course of action to take.

Diverting Excess Water

One of the easiest ways to take care of stormwater problems is to install trench drains, also called French Drains. We typically install trench drains in hardscape areas and near walkways to stop standing water.

Non-plumbing solutions that can be done by landscapers include the following:

  • Grading to redirect run-off away from the building
  • Installing flow-through planters and infiltration planters
  • Installing splash basins
  • Disconnected downspouts
  • Green roof installation
  • Cleaning Storm Drains

Another reasons for standing water is a dirty storm drainage system. If you haven’t had proper storm drain cleaning in quite some time, this is an inexpensive way to alleviate problems. During storm drain cleaning service, plumbers often include video camera inspection services to look inside the drain and identify any problems. Regular cleaning and inspection services go a long way toward improving storm water flow on your property.

Do You Need Help Managing Water on Your Commercial Property?

When you have plumbing issues that are causing standing water, contact Street Works Engineering. Our team of experts are city-approved and bonded sewer contractors with have the authority to pull permits and get to work today. Hopefully, the issue is able to be resolved with storm drain cleaning or another simple service. However, should the problem turn out to be something serious that requires drain and sewer repair, know that we’re ready to tackle the toughest jobs.

Don’t put your property at risk because of water issues. Instead, call Street Works Engineering for experience commercial plumbing services in Los Angeles. We’re taking calls 24/7 at (866) 377-4002.