How to Prevent Industrial Sewer Blockages

by Mar 1, 2024Sewer Maintenance

Industrial sewer blockages are not just a minor inconvenience; they can be a major hazard with significant implications for businesses and the environment. These blockages can lead to operational downtime, costly repairs, and even pose health and safety risks. Moreover, they can result in environmental pollution, attracting hefty fines and damaging a company’s reputation.

In this article, we will explore practical strategies to prevent industrial sewer blockages, ensuring a smooth and efficient operation while safeguarding the environment and public health.

Common Causes of Industrial Sewer Blockages

Industrial sewer blockages can result from a variety of factors, each contributing to the disruption of sewer system operations. Understanding these causes is the first step towards implementing effective prevention strategies. Here are some of the most common causes of industrial sewer blockages:

Grease and Fat Buildup: These substances, often disposed of down the drains from kitchens and industrial processes, can solidify within the sewer lines. Over time, they adhere to the pipe walls, gradually narrowing the passage until it is completely blocked. This not only obstructs the flow of wastewater but can also cause backflows, leading to potential health hazards and operational disruptions.

Solid Waste Accumulation: Solid waste, such as pieces of plastic, paper towels, and other non-biodegradable materials, can accumulate in sewer lines, causing significant blockages. These items can easily catch on rough surfaces within the pipes, creating a net that traps further waste and eventually leads to a complete blockage.

Tree Roots Intrusion: Trees naturally seek out water sources, and sewer lines provide a tempting target. Tiny cracks or loose joints in the sewer pipes can allow tree roots to enter and grow within the sewer system. Over time, these roots can expand to fill the pipe, obstructing the flow of wastewater and even causing pipe damage.

Scale and Mineral Deposits: In areas with hard water, scale and mineral deposits can form inside sewer pipes, gradually reducing the diameter through which wastewater can flow. In industrial settings, where the volume of water used is significantly higher than in residential areas, the potential for scale buildup is correspondingly greater. This can lead to reduced flow efficiency and eventual blockages.

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Best Practices for Preventing Industrial Sewer Blockages

Preventing industrial sewer blockages is essential for maintaining smooth and efficient operations. By incorporating certain practices into operations, industries can significantly reduce the risk of sewer blockages, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted workflow while protecting the environment and public health. Here are some best practices that industries can adopt to avoid such disruptions:

Regular Maintenance Schedule: Establishing a routine maintenance schedule is crucial for preventing blockages. This includes regular cleaning and descaling of pipes to remove any buildup of grease, fat, or mineral deposits. Regular maintenance helps identify potential issues before they escalate into major blockages.

Proper Waste Disposal Procedures: Industries should ensure that solid waste and non-biodegradable materials are disposed of properly, rather than being washed down the drains. Educating employees about the importance of proper waste disposal can significantly reduce the risk of sewer blockages.

Installing Effective Filtration Systems: Implementing filtration systems at strategic points in the sewer system can help catch solid waste and other debris before they enter the pipes. These systems should be regularly checked and cleaned to ensure their effectiveness.

Implementing Grease Traps: For industries that deal with large amounts of grease and fat, such as the food industry, installing grease traps is essential. These traps capture grease and fat before they enter the sewer system, preventing buildup and blockages.

Advanced Technologies for Industrial Sewer Maintenance

Advancements in technology have provided industries with more efficient and effective ways to maintain their sewer systems and prevent blockages. Here are some advanced technologies that are commonly used for industrial sewer maintenance:

High-Pressure Water Jetting: This method involves using high-pressure water streams to clean and clear sewer pipes. It is effective in removing grease, sludge, and other debris that can cause blockages. High-pressure water jetting is a quick and efficient way to restore the flow capacity of the pipes without causing any damage.

CCTV Inspection Systems: Closed-circuit television (CCTV) inspection systems are used to visually inspect the interior of sewer pipes. These systems provide clear images of the pipe’s condition, allowing for the early detection of potential issues such as cracks, tree root intrusion, or blockages. This technology enables targeted maintenance and repairs, reducing the need for extensive excavation.

Chemical Treatments for Grease Control: Chemical treatments can be used to break down grease and fat buildup in sewer pipes. These treatments are often used in conjunction with grease traps to ensure that grease is effectively controlled and does not lead to blockages. It is important to choose environmentally friendly chemicals that do not harm the sewer system or the surrounding ecosystem.

Sewer Lining and Relining Techniques: Sewer lining and relining are methods used to repair damaged or deteriorating pipes without the need for excavation. A new liner is inserted into the existing pipe, effectively creating a pipe within a pipe. This technique can address issues such as cracks, leaks, and tree root intrusion, extending the life of the sewer system and preventing blockages.


Industrial sewer blockages can have far-reaching consequences, affecting not only the smooth operation of businesses but also posing risks to public health and the environment. A proactive approach to industrial sewer management is essential for ensuring the longevity and reliability of sewer systems, protecting the environment, and safeguarding the well-being of communities.

Goliath Hydrovac Inc. is committed to providing exceptional industrial maintenance services tailored to your specific needs. Contact us today to learn more about how Goliath’s industrial maintenance services can benefit your operation.