A Guide to Cleaning Out Storm Drains in Lancaster, NY

September 14, 2019 Published by Leave your thoughts

One of the best ways to keep the waterways in your area clear is to make sure storm drains and catch basins are regularly cleaned out. This is generally a job for a city or county. Cleanings can be performed as part of routine maintenance, or on an emergency basis to remove blockages or to stop backups.

Here’s a general overview of the steps taken when cleaning out storm drains in Lancaster, NY:

  • Traffic control: The very first step in any storm drain or catch basin cleaning project is to prepare the area for the work. It will be necessary to set up traffic control devices if the drain is located along the side of a road. This will alert oncoming traffic that work is happening on the shoulder, and will protect any crews working on the basin as well. The use of signage, cones and other devices is necessary to ensure the safety of everyone at the site.
  • Removal of the cover: When the work crew arrives and it’s safe to begin, one of the first steps will be to remove the cover to the catch basin. These covers can be quite heavy, so special equipment may be required to get them lifted up.
  • Inspection: A quick visual inspection of the basin will determine the steps that need to be taken. There are some circumstances that might prevent cleaning operations from proceeding, such as a damaged or collapsed basin, particularly remote access, the presence of hazardous materials in the catch basin (including oil or sewage) or very heavy flow due to recent storms and rainwater runoff.
  • Cleaning: After the quick inspection, cleaning can begin if the above circumstances are not present. This generally involves vacuuming and removing the debris as efficiently as possible without the use of much water. The idea is to avoid adding additional water to the drain, which might just get in the way of the cleaning process.
  • Start upstream: Generally, cleaning teams will start at the upstream end of the storm drain system, which allows for a decanting of liquids downstream. The process may vary, though, based on whether or not the system discharges into a waterway.
  • Cover: Once cleaning is complete, the cover to the basin can be placed back on. It must fit snugly and be in good condition. If there are any signs of damage or defects to the cover, those will be reported, and replacement may be necessary. Teams will often mark the catch basin with a hash or paint mark to show it was cleaned.

That’s the gist of what you can expect out of the storm drain cleaning process. If you’re interested in learning more about cleaning out storm drains in Lancaster, NY, we encourage you to contact the team at Macken Services, Inc. today. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have for us. This is a necessary maintenance step to take every now and then to make sure your municipality’s storm drains continue to function effectively.

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