Cast iron pipe has been a sewer line mainstay for decades and has an average lifespan of 30 to 50 years. Over time however, as metallic surfaces come into contact with moisture, rusting and corrosion naturally set in. As these problems progress, the pipe is weakened and eventually needs to be replaced due to advanced deterioration or failure.
Causes Of Cast Iron Sewer Pipe Failure-
- Rust- Just as with any metal pipe that comes directly into contact with wastewater, the interior of cast iron pipe will rust over time. Rusting on the interior of the cast iron pipe has a two-fold effect which reduces the flow of the sewer line. First, rust on the interior of the pipe constricts the interior diameter of the pipe as it builds up. Secondly, this rust creates a rough surface which slows down the rate at which wastewater can flow across the surface.
- Corrosion- The real danger for cast iron pipes is corrosion. Over time, wastewater flow will etch a channel at the bottom of the pipe that – if left untreated – will erode through the pipe and weaken the pipe structure and allow for foreign material to enter the line. At the same time, wastewater can escape the pipe causing erosion and eventual bellies in the line that will lead to catastrophic collapse.
In Mobile Home Parks clay pipe was often installed under landscaped areas, asphalt roadways, and concrete parking areas. Long-term ground settling, tree roots, and water erosion/soil washout lead to clay pipe failure due to cracking, pipe separation, and soil/tree root intrusion. If tree roots or any type of organic plant material is found to be the cause of a drainage pipe clog or stoppage, it usually indicates that there is a hole, crack, or separation in the pipe. This is true of any type of pipe that makes up the sewer drainage system. ANY MOISTURE LEAK FROM CAST IRON, OR CLAY drainage pipe will eventually ATTRACT root intrusion from surrounding plants. Tree roots commonly “travel” unbelievable distances, even under a building or structure, in their search for moisture. The smallest hole, crack, or separation will allow roots the width of a human hair to “SEEK” out the source of water. These tiny roots will enter the pipe and literally grow inside the pipe, and as they grow they expand the hole or crack to allow larger/multiple roots to intrude. Given time, what starts out as a hair-sized root can end up growing in size to the width of a man’s arm.
Video Camera Inspection- Pipeline Utilities can perform the critical step of visually inspecting the length of the sewer line at your Mobile Home Park with a video camera inspection. With a visual inspection, we can then accurately diagnose the situation and come up with options that fit the issue.