Good work deserves praise

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By The Staff

I noticed a Los Alamos County pickup and utility trailer parked on our street recently and being curious, asked the crew what they were up to. Estevan of the Utilities Department told me they were checking the sewer lines in our area and graciously invited me to see the procedure. To say the least, I was impressed. They had a miniature TV camera on a little motorized crawler that they dropped into the sewer, and then viewed the sewer line on a TV monitor as the camera roamed up and down the sewer line. Looking at the TV monitor I could see that the main line was clean as a whistle and I could also see the feeder lines connections to the individual houses. It was like a colonoscopy of the sewer line.

Estevan asked where my house was and showed me that the connection from my house was full of roots. Since I have a property-line-cleanout, a county crew came out and cleaned out my feeder line so I should not have problems for some time to come. Estavan’s crew even came back later to verify that the feeder line had been cleared. He said that as preventative maintenance the county was checking all of the Barranca Mesa sewer lines, and cleaning lines where needed. This should avoid the awkward problem of a sewer backup when you have company for the holidays and the usage is greatest. Some light blue paint marks in the street show where the feeder lines connect to the main line. “PC” painted on the curb signifies that there is a property-line-cleanout; “NPC” is interpreted to mean that there is no property-line cleanout and the property owner is responsible for any blockage between the house and the main sewer line.

Estevan also related that this new viewing system had shown a natural gas line going through a main sewer line by the Metzger Mobile station. This was just before they were going to send down a cutting head to clear what they thought must be roots blocking the sewer line. Just imagine what could have happened if the cutter had punctured the gas line.

It’s great to see the county utility system folks doing such an excellent job and taking the time to explain it to the citizens – keep it up.

 Don Tolmie

 Los Alamos