System Operations & Maintenance

MetroConnects is focused on keeping its sanitary sewer collection system in good operating condition so that our customers can count on reliable sewer service. MetroConnects closely monitors the condition of our system through proactive maintenance and inspections in an effort to prevent problems from occurring.Some of the types of activities you will see in your community include:

Line Cleaning

Metro’s line cleaning crew is responsible for removing debris, clearing blockages, and cutting roots that are obstructing the collection system. As a cleaner, the machine uses water to flush the lines and manholes. Many of these line blockages are due to grease build-up that is the result of households and businesses pouring fats, oils and grease down drains. For more information on the proper disposal of fats, oils and grease, visit our “How can I Help” page.

Smoke Testing

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Smoke testing is performed to confirm connections to the sanitary sewer system. Smoke testing involves a specially mounted blower that forces air mixed with liquid smoke into a manhole. The smoke generated is non-toxic, has no odor, and is typically foggy white in color.

The fire department serving the area is notified when we are smoke testing.

 Occasionally smoke enters the attic of homes, if vents are not connected properly. It may also enter through the p-trap in sinks and bathtubs if they have not been used on a daily basis.

If smoke enters your home or building, please tell the Metro representative performing the test or call the office at 864.277.4442.

Dye Testing
Dye testing is used to confirm connections to the sanitary sewer system. We can determine where a structure is connected to the system by running dye through the plumbing of a building. Dye can be introduced into the sewer system through a sink, bathtub, toilet or a cleanout. Water is also needed to flush the dye through the piping.

Sanitary Sewer Overflow

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A Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) is any spill of wastewater into the soil or stream from a manhole or pump station. Metro reports all SSO’s to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

If you see or suspect an SSO, please call Metro at 864-277-4442, available 24 hours a day.

SL-RAT

MetroConnects uses the SL-RAT, to help guide regularly scheduled maintenance.  The SL-RAT is a device that uses acoustic technology to detect the presence of obstructions or debris in sewer mains.  It is highly portable, and a two-man crew can easily assess a typical sewer segment in five minutes or less.

CCTV

Crews use a closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) to view and record defects and maintenance problems from a television monitor inside the TV van. Metro has three CCTV units or vehicles to inspect mainline and lateral pipelines.

Root Control
Root control or root poisoning is a maintenance activity necessary for selected pipelines in order to maintain an acceptable level of service and to evaluate a pipeline for future rehabilitation. Metro maintains a list of these line segments and performs root poisoning at scheduled intervals.

A schedule has been determined for each line segment on the list based on its condition. The work is accomplished by a contractor approved by Renewable Water Resources (ReWa) at an application rate that will not upset wastewater treatment plant operations.

Right-Of-Way Maintenance

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It is Metro’s goal to keep all off-road Rights-Of-Way clear and accessible for daily and emergency operation and maintenance of our pipelines.

Maintenance activities for these areas include the use of outside contractors to provide chemical treatment, to control broadleaf growth (brush and trees), and large tree removal as required. Metro provides all routine mowing and brush removal with a standard tractor and bush hog, small walk behind brush cutter and various hand tools (chain saws, weed eaters, etc.).

Grease Trap Inspection & Enforcement
Metro follows Renewable Water Resources (ReWa) grease control strategy. It has been developed to regulate the collection and transportation of fats, oils and grease. The intent is to provide the appropriate means of collection, transportation, and disposal.

When Metro responds to a service call or emergency call and determines it is a grease problem, a call is made to ReWa pretreatment manager. An inspection is done and violations may be subject to the enforcement provisions contained in the sewer use and pretreatment regulation. Violations may also be reported to SCDHEC for further enforcement action. Additional fines may be assessed for violations involving blockages, cleanup, or other occurrences requiring increased operations and or maintenance expenses incurred by ReWa or Metro for cleanup or blockage removal.

Repairs

Metro uses a yearly emergency and maintenance contract to complete repairs on our system. Our goal is to keep service disruption to a minimum. Repairs may be identified from customer calls, emergency (after hours) calls or sewer lines damaged during construction. Most often repairs are identified during proactive maintenance of our system while our crews are performing Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Surveys (SSES).