Q: My sanitary sewer is backing up. What should I do?
A: First, immediately stop all water usage, as backups are typically caused by plumbing problems within your home or business. Turn off washing machines, dishwashers, showers, and anything that uses water.
Second, after stopping all water usage, contact us at the Wastewater Treatment Facility at (513)858-7760 during the hours of 7am and 11pm . Your questions will be answered by a Wastewater professional and, if needed, a crew will be dispatched to the your home or business in a timely manner (during heavy rain events, calls will be responded to in the order they are recieved). During the hours of 11pm and 7am, contact the Water Plant at (513)858-7775. The Plant Operator will pass the complaint to the proper Wastewater personnel who will respond to the complaint.
Q: What will the dispatched crew do to stop the sewer backup?
A: The crew will check to see if the sanitary sewer main is flowing properly. If there is a blockage in the sewer main, the crew will remove the blockage. If the sewer main is flowing properly, the home or business owner will have to contact a plumber.
Q: What causes sewer backups?
A: Lots of things can cause a sanitary sewer to back up. Sometimes people flush things down their toilet that are not meant to be flushed. Cooking grease can build up on the walls of your sanitary sewer lateral over time if it's disposed down your drain. But the most common cause for a backup is roots. Trees and shrubs need water and nutrients, and what better place than a sewer lateral. The roots will enter the lateral through the joints in the sewer pipe, the roots will grow, and eventually plug the pipe solid. Click on this link for Sewer Root Control.
Q: What is my responsibility as a home or business owner compared to the City's responsibility?
A: It is the home or business owner's responsibility to maintain the sewer lateral from the home or business to the sewer main. It is the City's responsibility to maintain the sewer main.
Q: Who do I call if the sewer backup is my responsibility?
A: The city can't recommend a plumber, but if you look in the yellow pages there is a long list of drain cleaners there.
Q: I have experianced a sewer backup. How do I clean and disinfect the area?
A: Click on this link for "Clean-up Procedures for Flooded Basements".
Q: What is a sewer lateral?
A: A sewer lateral is a sewer pipe that connects your home or business to the sanitary sewer main.
Q: How can my sewer lateral be accessed?
A: Your sewer lateral can be accessed through your clean-out. A clean-out is typically found in your basement, or outside property where the lateral exits your home or business. A clean-out typically has a threaded cap 4 inches to 6 inches in diameter.
Q: Is my home or property connected to the sanitary sewer?
A: To find out if your home or business is connected to the City of Fairfield's sewer system, give us a call (513)858-7760. This service is free for our community.
Q: I recently had a sewer backup in my house. What caused it?
A: On Monday through Friday, during the hours of 7am and 3:30 pm, contact us at the Wastewater Treatment Facility. The collection department will make an appointment with you to come to your home or business and preform a miniature camera inspection on your lateral and diagnose the problem. This is a free service for our community.
Q: I need to repair or replace my sewer line. What should I do?
A: This can be very costly, please give us a call at the Wastewater Treatment Facility at (513)858-7760, as we may have some suggestions or alternatives for you to consider. If you do need to have repair or replacement preformed, only a licensed plumber by the City of Fairfield can perform the task. Any plumber can apply for a license at the Wastewater Treatment Facility, 4799 Groh Lane, Fairfield, Ohio 45014.
Q: Who do I call about storm sewer problems?
A: The City's Public Works Department maintains storm sewers. Storm sewers can be identified as the large grates in streets and near curbs. Give them a call at (513)867-4200.
Q: I can smell sewer odors in my house, what is causing this?
A: Sewer odors can be caused by a number of things, a dry trap, blocked vent stack, cracked pipes, or a sour garbage disposal. If it's a blocked vent stack or cracked pipe, a plumber will need to be contacted. Sometimes a garbage disposal will go sour, grinding up ice-cubes in the disposal will take care of this problem. The most common cause of sewer odors in your home or business is a dry trap. Traps will dry out more frequently in the winter months, by simply adding water to all the traps in your home or business typically will eliminate the odor.
Q: I can smell sewer odors outside my house, what's causing this?
A: During the hours of 7am and 11pm, contact us at the Wastewater Treatment Facility at (513)858-7760. Your questions will be answered by a Wastewater professional, and a crew will be dispatched to your home or business in a timely manner (during heavy rain events, calls will be responded to in the order they are received). During the hours of 11pm and 7am, contact the Water Plant at (513)858-7775. The Plant Operator will pass the complaint to the proper Wastewater personnel who will respond to the complaint.
Q: I see raw sewage coming out of a manhole. What should I do?
A: This is called a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) and needs to be reported immediately. During the hours of 7am and 11pm, contact us at the Wastewater Treatment Facility at (513)858-7760, and during the hours of 11pm and 7am, contact the Water Plant at (513)858-7775.
Q: Why do collection crews cross my property?
A: It is unfortunate that in some cases utilities are located behind or adjacent to home or business owner's property. The Wastewater Collection Division has to access the sanitary sewer manholes to perform routine and emergency maintenance. Easement agreements are written so that we are allowed to cross the property to perform the work. The Wastewater Collection Division makes every effort to contact the property owners when it is necessary to enter private property to perform the work.
Q: I heard a loud noise and found that my toilet blew water everywhere. What should I do?
A: You should give us a call at (513)858-7760. It probably means that we are in your area cleaning sewer mains. We use high water pressure to clean the mains and sometimes pressure travels up through your lateral and out your toilet, shower, sink or drain. This doesn't happen very often, but when it does we understand it is an inconvenience. Give us a call and we will send a collection department employee out to clean and sanitize.
Q: There are green little flags with your phone number all over my property. What do they mean?
A: It means that there is probably an underground utility in your area that needs repaired. The green flags mark our sanitary sewer main. This is a safety precaution so our sewer main doesn't get damaged during the excavation.
Q: There is a manhole lid in my street and every time someone drives over it, it makes a loud noise. Can something be done about this?
A: Yes, give us a call at the Wastewater Treatment Facility, Monday through Friday, during the hours of 7am and 3:30pm. We will have a crew come out and repair the problem.
Q: What can't be flushed down a toilet?
A: There are a number of things flushed down toilets that upset the chemistry of our treatment facility and can cause volatile conditions in our sewers. A few examples are any chemicals, oils, paints, paint thinners, antifreeze, batteries, and gasoline. Household hazardous waste must be disposed of accordingly to State and Federal Laws and Regulations. The Ohio EPA provides a Guide to Safe Management of Household Hazardous Waste on its Web site. Things that may cause blockages are grease, diapers, cat litter, and feminine products. Here, at the Wastewater Treatment Facility, we take great pride in protecting our receiving water. We, as a community, need to be conscious as to what we do wash down our sinks and flush down our toilets so we can continue to live in a safe, clean environment.
Q: What do I do with waste that can't be flushed down a toilet or washed down a sink?
A: Butler County has a Recycling And Solid Waste Program. Check out their web sight. It gives you step by step directions on how to dispose of just about anything.
Q: Where is the Wastewater Treatment Facility located?
A: We're at 4799 Groh Lane, past Waterworks Park, and just past the Fairfield Youth Football fields adjacent to the Great Miami River.
Q: What are the hours of operation for the plant?
A: A Plant Operator is on staff from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week.
Q: Can I visit the plant?
A: Sure, just give us a call Monday through Friday, 7am to 3:30pm, at (513)858-7760, to set up a plant tour.
Q: Does water from the storm drain system go through the Wastewater Plant as well?
A; Our collection system is designed for sanitary sewage only. But unfortunately during heavy rain periods, storm water will infiltrate our system.
Q: Where does the water leaving the plant go?
A: We discharge our effluent into the Great Miami River.
Q: Does the treatment plant staff do the laboratory testing of the water?
A: With the exception of some nutrient testing and other specialized testing, out laboratory staff does most of it.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Downloads:
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us at the Wastewater Division. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Our number is 513-858-7760.