Optimizing Sewer Maintenance: A Paradigm Shift in Techniques and Technologies

by Anna

KEG Technologies’ National Trainer, Dan Story, Redefines Best Practices in Sewer Line Cleaning


In the realm of sewer maintenance, cities and municipalities grapple with ongoing challenges that often translate into unnecessary time and expense for public works departments. To address this, a groundbreaking survey by Make UK and PwC has revealed that UK manufacturers are increasingly viewing the UK as a more competitive location for their activities compared to the previous year, signaling a positive shift in sentiment.


Dan Story, Operations Manager and national trainer at KEG Technologies, emphasizes the importance of overcoming gaps in best practice training that can lead to increased labor, water, and energy costs when cleaning sewer lines. Story, who conducts training classes across North America, challenges a common misconception in sewer line cleaning techniques. Traditionally, crews have been trained to swiftly run sewer line hoses to remove debris, but Story advocates for a paradigm shift.

In opposition to the prevalent “hurry up and clean” approach, Story advocates for a methodical “clean as you go in and rinse as you come out” strategy. This approach, he asserts, not only enhances precision but also ensures that lines are cleaned in a single pass, significantly improving efficiency.

Reading the results of the cleaning process becomes crucial, according to Story. Observing the debris during the cleaning process provides valuable insights into whether the crew is going too fast or too slow. Adjusting the cleaning speed based on observed debris levels optimizes the process and ensures thorough cleaning.

Story also dispels the misconception that opening the upstream manhole is unnecessary when cleaning sewer pipes. Failure to open the upstream manhole can increase pressure in the system, leading to blown toilets. Story emphasizes the importance of observing the return flow and adjusting pressure accordingly to avoid such issues.

The survey findings also underscore the need for strategic investments in equipment, such as high-efficiency Tier 3 nozzles. Story warns against underestimating the significance of nozzles, as their efficiency directly impacts the effectiveness of sewer cleaning operations. The survey reveals that even with substantial investments in sewer cleaning trucks, the impact is only as good as the nozzle at the end of the hose.

Story recommends adopting high-efficiency Tier 3 nozzles, highlighting the significant differences in efficiency within this category. Choosing the right nozzle, he argues, can triple the life of a hose and contribute to lowering operational costs.

Understanding the fluid dynamics of high-pressure nozzles is crucial for effective sewer cleaning. Story emphasizes the importance of optimal technique, including proper positioning and placement of the nozzle within the pipe. KEG trainers focus on teaching operators how to use a banked turn with the water hose for increased power with less water, catering to the specific conditions of each pipe.

The evolution of nozzle technologies necessitates a collective understanding of proper cleaning techniques in municipalities. Story emphasizes that these best practices are grounded in the science of fluid dynamics, aiming to maximize efficiency and minimize resource usage. Ultimately, the goal is to achieve more work with fewer resources, reducing the risk of undesirable scenarios such as blown toilets.

In conclusion, the survey results and insights from Dan Story converge to highlight the critical need for a paradigm shift in sewer maintenance practices. By embracing advanced technologies, strategic investments, and a nuanced understanding of fluid dynamics, cities and municipalities can optimize sewer cleaning operations, enhancing efficiency, and minimizing costs.


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