How to Clean and Maintain Catch Basins

Do you have catch basins on your property? If so, have you checked up on them recently?

A catch basin is the “gatekeeper” of drains and sewer systems, keeping them free from sediments, debris, and contaminants. For the most part, you can just let them quietly do their jobs. But without regular catch basin maintenance, they can attract unwanted pests or be overwhelmed by debris.

If you’re unlucky, they may even cause sinkholes if one of the pipes that connect to the catch basin collapses or leaks.

The good news is that it’s easy to pencil in a catch basin cleaning schedule. You only need to do it once or twice a year. But how exactly do you maintain and clean your catch basins?

That’s what we’ll cover in this article. Let’s start!

Preventative Maintenance

When it comes to the health of your catch basins, prevention is much more effective than cure.

Maintaining a catch basin is pretty simple. All you need to do is to lessen the burden it has to deal with every day. By regularly sweeping and cleaning the surrounding area, you can reduce the amount of debris that enters the basin.

And never dump your garbage into the basin. Do consider that the runoff water won’t be sent to a treatment plant but instead likely ends up in nearby lakes or rivers. Instead, take care to have proper disposal methods and trash removal for your waste.

When to Clean Catch Basins

How do you know when it’s time for catch basin cleaning?

It’s best to schedule cleaning during certain times of the year when the basin’s storage area for debris is likely to be at capacity. Typically, it’s when the leaves have fallen off the trees.

We also recommend cleaning during the rainy season or after the snow has melted in the spring. It’s when the basin has to contend with a heavier flow and more frequent runoff water.

You can also check the depth of the accumulated debris by inserting a long stick between the grate openings. The EPA recommends cleaning if the solid occupies at least one-third of the basin volume below the outlet pipe.

How to Clean Your Catch Basin

Cleaning the catch basins starts with removing the grate. Please note that cast iron grates are heavy. Exercise caution so you don’t injure your back or drop it on your feet.

If there’s standing water, drain the water with a bucket, but never jump into the basin area. Let the debris dry out, and then use a shovel to remove the muck and other solids. Properly dispose of the waste you collected from your basin according to the waste regulations of your locality.

Professionals who perform this service usually employ a vacuum excavator trailer to clean out both water and debris. A professional crew will also inspect the drain pipes for clogs and apply a fix if needed. They can do a much better job and ensure that the basin won’t back up as quickly in the future.

Avoid Catch Basin Problems

Catch basins aren’t high maintenance structures, but they do need a bit of your attention and care every now and then. Preventative maintenance is often the best approach, but also make sure to clean out the basin when it’s holding a significant amount of debris.

Please check out our website for more tips on property maintenance and other business matters!

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