Catch Basin Maintenance: Is It Really Necessary?

Catch basins are usually better known as storm drains. While catch basins are quite simple, they do play an important role in the health and safety of your home or business premises. A catch basin receives the stormwater, and offers some basic filtration before releasing the effluent into the sewer system or watershed. Generally, there isn’t much to worry about, except that it may back up from time to time, in which case, you should call a contractor to clear the clog before the next flooding occurs. Should you have your catch basins cleared from time to time, or should you let it go until a problem occurs?

The Right Way to Manage Catch Basins

While you can go for a long time without any hassles, prevention is always better than cure. The problem with leaving the problem to fester, is that it eventually becomes a major issue, resulting in the need to call a contractor to perform potentially costly repairs. It would be more economical to conduct biannual inspections of your catch basins, and to repair any issues that arise as soon as you become aware of them.

The Pro-Active Approach

Preventative maintenance of catch basins generally use a clamshell truck to remove most of the solids from the catch basin; this helps to maintain the integrity of your catch basin. Clamshell trucks provide a fast and efficient cleaning option in order to reduce the costs of equipment and labor. This approach lends itself to the following cost-benefits:

  • fewer cost surprises.
  • higher levels of preparedness.
  • fewer interruptions or your day-to-day activities.

The Reactive Approach

This approach offers much less security in terms of cost predictions, as the costs will depend on how frequently flooding occurs, and the extent of maintenance required. In most cases, the minimum costs would be for a vacuum truck to remove the solids and liquids. A two-person team would be required to operate the truck and do the maintenance, and then there is the cost of pumping out the materials.

Should the materials build up in the outflow pipe, confined space entry will be required, and the catch basin will have to be scrubbed manually using an industrial cleaning solution. Although this describes a worst case scenario, additional labor costs quickly add up. The challenges that come with this approach, include:

  • unexpected costs.
  • frequent flooding during rainy months.
  • interruptions to your normal activities due to emergency response to backups.
  • inconvenience.

By performing regular visual inspections, you can start saving costs and inconvenience. The best times to perform visual inspections, is:

  • once the leaves have fallen in autumn.
  • after sand and salt treatment of the roads in spring.

It is a good idea to keep a log as to how quickly your catch basins fill up. You may notice that some are prone to flooding, while others seem to never fill up. Clean the quick-filling catch basins more regularly to prevent flooding. If one always seems clear, leave it be for longer stretches of time.

As a home or business owner, you need to consider whether the proactive or reactive approach to catch basin maintenance works best for your facility. Need more help with catch basins or other types of plumbing maintenance or repair in Toronto, don’t hesitate to call Anta Plumbing.

Written by Tanya Klien

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