Peters Township Sanitary Authority
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Sewer Vent Cap Inspection Program

Cracked and missing vent caps are one part of the inflow and infiltration problem.  Combining this repair with disconnection of downspouts from the sewers, checking that sump pumps do not discharge into the sewers, and that outside area and driveway drains connect to storm  sewers, are all part of a comprehensive plan to eliminate Inflow and Infiltration. 

Building sewer defects can be identified by dye testing and close circuit television inspection. Repairs can be made to the defective pipe before it causes a problem or sewage backup into your home.  Damaged pipe will allow roots to grow into the pipe reducing its diameter as well as allowing groundwater to infiltrate the pipe during wet weather events. Left unchecked, Inflow and Infiltration will overburden our current sewage treatment plants.  Expansion and replacement of these plants will cost millions of dollars that will be passed on to rate payers.

What is a Vent Cap and a Clean-out Cap?

A vent cap is either a plastic or cast iron slotted cap installed on a vent riser.  This allows sewer gas to escape and allows fresh air into the sewer to aid in waste disposal. The vent cap must be raised above grade to eliminate the possibility of water entering the vent. A clean-out cap is a solid plastic threaded screw cap installed on a clean-out riser to    access the building sewer in the event of a clog. 

What is a Low Vent?

A low vent is a vent riser which top is below grade or at ground level.  The ground around the low vent could act as an area drain directing surface water from a large area into the sewer system.  This inflow of water will contribute to overload conditions at the treatment plant during rain events.

Why is this important to homeowners and the Sanitary Authority?

If  the caps are missing or damaged, rodents, dirt and other debris can enter the sewer causing blockages and expensive repairs to the homeowner.  Adversely, if the caps are missing and allow ground and rainwater to enter the sewers, the Sanitary Authority’s treatment plants will become overloaded during rain events.  The solution is to fix the problem at the source rather than spend millions of dollars unnecessarily to overbuild the treatment plants.

Homeowner Repair

Many cap repairs can be completed by the homeowner with basic skills and tools.  The local hardware store or home center will have all the necessary materials and can provide guidance to their selection. A plumber will also be able to complete more complicated repairs of older pipe that require excavation and joining dissimilar pipe.  A plumber will also be more  knowledgeable of plumbing codes. 

Always remember to contact the Sanitary Authority after the repair is made and before the pipe is backfilled for an inspection.  This will ensure compliance with our rules and  regulations and help to prevent problems at a later date.