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Sewer Clean Out

Over the next 12 years, the City of Atlanta will inspect, repair and where necessary, replace every foot of the 2,200 miles of sanitary sewers. This unprecedented $1.2 billion project is an integral part of the City’s comprehensive efforts to meet and surpass all federal and state water quality standards.

The successful completion of the Clean Water Atlanta projects will benefit Atlanta’s citizens and ratepayers, and our neighbors downstream and throughout the region by providing the infrastructure necessary to improve water quality and sustain Atlanta’s economic vitality.

The SSES project is the first step in bringing Atlanta’s aging sewer system up to world class/modern-day standards and protecting Atlanta ratepayers’ quality of life by eliminating Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs). Through the efforts of the SSES, approximately 60,000 manholes and 2,200 miles of sanitary sewers will be inspected for cracks, collapses, and blockages. After extensive investigation and documentation of defects is completed, a rehabilitation plan will be developed, identifying necessary sewer repairs and replacement. In severe situations, immediate repair may be required. Installation of a sewer cleanout is the first step in the City’s sewer rehabilitation process.

What is a cleanout?

A cleanout is a riser pipe that is placed into a sewer line that provides an opening at ground level. The cleanout will be installed at the edge of the easement or property line. Maintenance and ownership of the service line (private sewer) from the cleanout, including the cleanout, to the home will be the homeowner's responsibility. Maintenance and ownership of the sewer from the cleanout to the main sewer line will be the responsibility of the City of Atlanta. Figure 1 to the left shows the “double sweep cleanout” that will be used on City of Atlanta projects. This type of pipe allows for easy access to the City of Atlanta’s main line
and access to the homeowner for the private service connection.

How is a cleanout installed?

a. Surface features are carefully removed or protected within the work area.
b. Existing pipe is uncovered being careful not to disturb any other existing underground utilities or facilities.
c. A tanker and pump truck are used to remove liquids from private service connections at the cleanout.
d. Active private service connections are temporarily disconnected and plugged.
e. A cleanout is attached to the private service connection.
f. Private service connections are restored.
g. Surface features are restored to at least as good condition as existed before construction began.

Why are cleanouts necessary?

It is standard practice to install cleanouts at the edge of easements or property lines. This prevents the necessity of going into private homes to correct stoppages. Figure 1 shows a detail of the cleanout. The detail for the cleanout cover is shown in Figure 2 below.


For additional SSES Project information or call the CWA Hotline at 404.529.9211

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