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Why do I need a Sewer Service Diagram?

A Sewer Service Diagram, drainage diagram or “helio” (for plumbers over 30 years old) is a map that shows where the sewer pipes run throughout your home, or commercial property.

This sewer drainage diagram is available from Sydney Water, the Water authority in your capital city, a reputable plumber’s supplier or your local Council, depending on where you are in Australia!

In NSW a sewer drainage diagram is a normal inclusion in a “Contract of Sale” for your home.

The sewer diagram shows a line diagram  of your property, including the boundaries of the property with the outline of the dwelling and associated buildings, with all plumbing or sanitary fixtures shown.

Whenever the sanitary or sewer drainage on a property is either modified or added to by a licensed plumber or drainer, the local water authority is booked to inspect the work and modify any existing drainage plans and upgrade the sewer diagrams of each individual property.

The sewer diagram will show if your sewer pipeline runs through other properties, if it is connected to a common sewer with multiple properties on the line and where your sewer line joins the Water Board or Municipal or Council sewer mains.

Be aware, some inner city suburbs like Paddington and Balmain have rows of terraces with up to 20 homes, and in some cases more, running through the one sewer line across the back or front of the properties.

Whenever you have a blockage in a joint or common service, it’s imperative that all parties on the common line realise that the problem is the responsibility of all parties on that common line.

That means the costs of any repairs or service  to this common line should be borne by all parties on the line!

A current drainage diagram will show who is connected to the common sewer line and who isn’t.

If you have a hint of a blocked drain and you need to stop tree roots in drains, have a sewer diagram within easy reach!

Costs of this diagram will vary, dependent on the source and may range between $16 and $60.00

Symptoms of a blocked drain

As our summer rolls on and the Easter break approaches and we get together with our family and friends, keep an eye out for some of those vital symptoms that indicate you have a slow or blocked drain.

Make it a holiday break  to remember for the right reasons,  rather than needing to call an emergency plumber to rescue you and your family from a sewer blockage.

Keep an eye out for:

  • The excessive rise or fall of the water level in your toilet. We call it syphoning, and it comes with a Glug Glug Glug sound.
  • Slow draining water or ankle deep water in the shower or bath.
  • Swarms of small flies  or sewer flies around smelly drains.
  • Your kitchen sink, waste disposal unit or dishwasher are slow to drain.
  • Toilet paper or dirty water around your sewer surcharge gully in the garden or yard.
  • Dirty water leaking from a retaining wall or garden bed that conceals sewer pipes.

These are signs of a blockage, and your pipes are trying to tell you that all isn’t well.

When the extra guests arrive you will know because the additional load on your sewer pipes will bring any blockage to a head.

So have a look around you home for the symptoms of a blocked drain and please don’t ignore them.

If you are unsure, contact your friendly plumber for help and some drain maintenance advice.


Cutting costs in Wagga City with Vaporooter

After several trials with the Drainchem Minifoamer and Vaporooter, the City of Wagga Wagga has decided it is the most efficient solution to and prevention from sewer chokes and blockages, as well as the best maintenance for the draining lines. The trial was aimed at old problematic areas, especially places with old clay pipes and maturing or mature trees.

Due to the Minifoamer’s and Vaporooter’s herbicide formula, the live invasive roots were killed, and their natural decay is expected. The combination of herbicide and root inhibitor not only fixes the problem, but also keeps working on it for up to three years, by preventing further blockages and retarding root growth. As the killed roots decay and clear up the pipes, the cracks they had created in the lines contract under the ground pressure, thus prolonging their life and efficacy.

Because the Vaporooter involves an ongoing process and does not require permanent assistance, it enables the teams in charge of sewer operations to take care of maintenance and not only emergency calls, as they used to. The Vaporooter technology and methodology allow for prevention and long-lasting solutions instead of quick fixes of urgent matters.

The Wagga City trial of the Vaporooter has started with problematic areas and, as it has proven efficient, it will go on to all the areas. After fixing the pipes dealing with sewer chokes and overflows in critical areas, the supervisor of sewer operations will start a maintenance program. By preventing the drain line problems, the sewer staff saves time and energy which would have otherwise been spent on emergencies.

Another time and cost saving is the fact that the Vaporooter technology can be used by in-house staff. Due to the nature of the foaming process, the Council can tackle drain pipe blockages and overflows concomitantly with other urgent matters. As foaming can be paused while the Council deals with something else, and easily continued when time is available, the Council has much more freedom and schedule flexibility. Plus, the scheduled annual foaming of the sewer mainlines will ensure a regular cleaning and preservation of the pipelines and an insurance against sewer chokes and overflows.