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5 Situational Factors that Can Lead to Sewer Pipe Deterioration

sewer pipe deterioration

Aside from operational factors and mishandling, there are numerous environmental factors and others that completely rely on the case to case basis of the manner that the sewer pipes are laid that can affect the performance and health of the pipes and sewer lines. Pipe deterioration is not always caused by old age and weak foundations or improper layout. Most times, the cause why your sewers experience problems actually lie on the type of environment that the system is buried in and forced to counteract all throughout the day. Here is a short list of those natural factors that do nothing to promote the health and performance of your sewage system:


  • Seismic Activity

During an earthquake, there is a fat chance that the ground where your sewer line. The sewer lines could move and shake in an unexpected and totally random manner that can shake up the system and cause breaks or cracks along the pipe that can start a chain of reactions leading to pipe deterioration. The dramatic increase of stress can cause pipes to sag and lose their initial structural strength as the shaking continues. As this continues, the sewer pipes take the brunt of the damage since they are the ones that get disturbed the most.


  • Stray Electric Current

Electric current can randomly make its way to the ground and flow into different directions. This can also be caused by the electrical lines along the ground that is used to carry the electrical supply for the residence or building. When there is electrical imbalance, wiring imperfections and blemishes in the electrical wires electricity tend to flow along the ground and cause electrolysis. The electrical charges pull a number on the sewer line and other sewage fixtures that are buried beneath the ground. The structure of the pipe tends to weaken with the amount of charge it receives over a period of time.


  • Soil Type

Sewer pipes get to be deep into the soil which means that these fixtures are in constant contact with varied deteriorating factors all throughout the day. The soil type varies from one place to the next and can have dissimilar effects on the sewer line pipes. This is because some soil types are more acidic or toxic than others which vary their effect on the sewer pipe. Also, when there is an increase in humidity, the soil absorbs a volume of the moisture resulting to an increase in its weight. This gives more loads to the pipes making it sag further if the materials are not sturdy or strong enough to withstand it.


  • Trench Backfill

With the traditional way of pipe repair and with installation, trenches and heavy digging will eventually need backfills after the entire process is done. What most homeowners do not know and fail to include the weight of the dead load on top of the pipe.

Also, the type of backfill material used makes a great impact on the total outcome of the project. Soil with large volumes of deteriorating factors should not be used since it can obviously lead to the pipe’s destruction.


  • Groundwater and Groundwater Level

The level of groundwater should also be considered since there is a possibility that the water can wash away the soil leaving the pipe without foundation and making the entire sewer system vulnerable to deterioration and structural deformation. As the soil gets washed away, the sewer line is left unstable and the performance of the system lessens exponentially.