Sewer Cleaning Project Goes Horribly Wrong


Oftentimes surprises can be good but sometimes they’re bad. Residents in Johnston, Iowa, were greeted with a horrible side effect to the city performing maintenance on its sanitary sewers.

During a routine clean performed on the municipality’s sanitary sewers, people’s toilets began to overflow. According to the City of Johnston, “the water cleaning system creates increased air pressure within the sewer piping, causing water to sputter out of toilets.”

The city also recommended residents keep their toilet lids closed while not in use to prevent any unnecessary water from escaping. “If I didn’t have the toilet seat down it probably would have shot out. It was that much pressure and it was a humming noise,” Amy Darling-Harding said.

Apparently, Johnston Public Works Sewer Division has contracted CIT Sewer Solutions to perform routine maintenance on the community’s sanitary sewer system to ensure everything flows smoothly and provides better and more reliable service for customers. This cleaning method is meant to extend the sewer system’s life.

During their cleaning process, it’s estimated that 433 sanitary manholes and over 88,000 linear feet of sanitary sewer will be cleaned. As of July 22, 2022, maintenance on the sanitary sewers is supposed to last few more weeks. Hopefully, residents remember to shut those toilet lids because no one wants toilet water on their bathroom floors.


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