Catch Basin Cleaning Tips: A few helpful hints to make your job easier

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Catch basins are essential for helping to maintain public safety and health. Catch basins allow surface water runoff to enter the storm water conveyance system, while trapping solids – including litter, rocks, sand, leaves and other debris – and sediments that might otherwise end up polluting the receiving water bodies. Pooling water on the street is often an indicator of a blocked catch basin.

Catch basin cleaning is an efficient, cost-effective method for preventing flooding and removing sediment and harmful pollutants before they enter waterways. Catch basin cleaning also helps mitigate risks and prevents costly emergencies.

Determine a schedule

Preventative maintenance should be performed on a recurring monthly or annual schedule, or more frequently for known trouble spots and during certain times of the year. Cleaning is also recommended after leaves have fallen off the trees; after the snow has melted in the spring to remove any buildup of salt, sand, leaves and other debris that accumulated during the winter months; and during rainy seasons when stormwater runoff is more frequent.

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To determine how much material has accumulated in the storage area of your catch basin, insert a long pipe or broomstick into the storm drain grate. Pay attention to where the pipe or stick hits the debris and continue to the bottom to estimate the depth of accumulation.

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Combination sewer cleaner or catch basin cleaner

When using a combination sewer cleaner or a dedicated catch basin cleaner to vacuum the debris out of the catch basin, high-pressure water can also be used to thoroughly clean the sides and bottom of the catch basin. These versatile machines scour pipes clean then vacuum up the material causing blockages to restore and maintain normal sewer flow.

Dedicated catch basin cleaners and combination sewer cleaners generally feature larger debris tanks, larger water carrying capacity, and longer boom reach than other solutions.

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New boom technology reduces setup and teardown time

For years, cleaning catch basins has been a labor-intensive job requiring the operator to lift additional debris tubes off the racks, maneuver the truck’s boom and clamp the tubes into place, a process that can lead to operator fatigue. The combined setup and teardown procedure traditionally takes 15 to 30 minutes per site. However, new boom technology has been introduced to the marketplace that can cut that setup and teardown time to a mere couple of minutes.

A patent-pending tube-within-a-tube design that extends out 10 ft out and extends the debris hose 15 ft down, eliminates the need for additional vacuum tubes to be attached, while creating the required length of hose to properly clean deep catch basins. This new boom technology also helps reduce operator fatigue.

Local residents can help, too

By following a few simple guidelines, the general public and local residents can help ensure catch basins in their communities function properly.

  • Clean up any grass clippings, leaves, dirt or fertilizer left on driveways and sidewalks after performing yard work. Hosing or blowing these materials into the street ends up in the catch basin and storm drain, and eventually into local waterways.
  • Don’t dump chemicals, motor oil, pet waste, empty bottles or cans, soapy water, or other liquids or solids down a catch basin or storm drain.
  • Contact your public works department if you notice standing water near a catch basin or storm drain after a rainfall, or if you notice a clogged or damaged catch basin.

Proactive catch basin maintenance improves the quality of life of residents and prevents costly repairs and system failures.

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Vactor 2100 Plus CB catch basin cleaner

Available from Vactor Mfg. Inc., the Vactor 2100 Plus CB catch basin cleaner is equipped with a highly maneuverable boom and powerful vacuum source to move from basin to basin, cleaning out rocks, dirt, leaves, litter and other debris that can clog the storm sewers and prevent them from working properly during rain events.

The air routing system on the Vactor 2100 Plus CB provides an efficient air flow path for both the single-stage and dual stage fan or a positive displacement blower configuration, resulting in outstanding performance and maximum productivity.

Article was provided by Vactor Mfg.

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