Utility Service Units:
Operates and maintains the storm, sanitary, and combined sewer mains, storm sewer, detention basins, catch basins, and manholes. They oversee sewer flushing and root-cutting operations as well as cleaning catch basins.
Material Used When Sewer Services Are Installed
Residential Sewer Services were generally constructed using Vitreous Clay until the mid-1980s. This material has proven to be very susceptible to tree root intrusion within the joints of the pipe segments. The joint materials that were used to assemble the segments of pipe have a tendency to shrink over time causing voids within the joints to allow for roots to intrude inside the pipe. These roots can actually grow to the internal diameter of the pipe causing a blockage.
Common Problems Associated With Sanitary Services
Grease, Tree Roots, and Foreign Objects or Matter found present inside sewer services are the major contributors to typical Sewer Failures and/or backups.
- Grease - Over a period of time grease may build up on the inner walls of the sanitary sewer itself causing the flow to be restricted, possibly causing a complete backup if the sewer is not properly maintained.
- Tree Roots - Tree roots may penetrate through a crack or open joint in the sewer pipes enabling roots to grow within the inner diameter of the pipe eventually growing so large that flow will be severely restricted or blocked requiring rodding and root cutting to remove the roots.
- Foreign Objects/Matter- Non-Flushable – Material or objects other than flushable toilet papers, and flushable feminine personal hygiene products should never be thrown down a toilet orifice. Baby diapers, baby wipes, clothes, feminine hygiene products, adult diapers, toys, and other foreign objects should NEVER be thrown in a toilet. These cause blockages within the drain/sewer lines because of their inability to break down like flushable products.
- Defective Sewer Pipes - Pipes that are damaged by settlement or earth load are susceptible to infiltration and failure. These pipes must be repaired so further damage to the pipe itself does not result. An opening in a sewer pipe allows matter to enter causing a backup to occur. Having a sewer televised with an inspection system can pinpoint problematic areas so the necessary repairs or maintenance can be made.
Responsibility of Every Homeowner
Every Resident Homeowner is responsible for maintaining their entire sanitary service line including the connection to the Village’s main sewer system. This may include routine root cutting of these services to ensure flow from the residence is not restricted. Defective, damaged, or failed pipes require repair or replacement to assure uninterrupted sewer service flow.
What To Do When Experiencing a Sewer Backup
When experiencing a sanitary sewer backup within your residence, call the Public Works Department at (847) 368-5800 before calling a plumber. This is an investigational service the Sewer Unit provides to every resident of Arlington Heights to ensure the village’s main sewer systems are functioning properly.
If you are in need of further assistance or require additional information, please do not hesitate to call the Arlington Heights Public Works Department at 847.368.5800
The Water Distribution Unit is responsible for maintaining and repairing the water main that carries water throughout the Village's water distribution system and for the public portion of the water service line. The public portion of the water service line is the service line from the water main to the buffalo-box or shut-off valve, located within the Village's right-of-way. The Section’s responsibilities also include water main maintenance and repair, leak detection, hydrant testing and inspection, hydrant maintenance, water valve exercising, and maintenance.
About Water Main Breaks:
All reports of leaks and water main breaks are investigated as soon as possible. Water main breaks may leave some customers with little to no water pressure. These breaks are given the highest priority for repair. A repair usually takes four to six hours to complete after a water main break has been confirmed. There are times when repairs must be prioritized. Public Works appreciates customers' patience as the work is completed as quickly as possible to restore water service.
Why Water Main Breaks Occur:
Main breaks are most likely to occur during extreme weather conditions. Cold weather is the most common cause for main breaks and both air and water temperatures are contributing factors to water main breaks. Hot and dry weather is the second most frequent time. Ground shifting and increased volume and pressure can stress water mains.
Reporting Water Main Breaks of Leaks:
The Village of Arlington Heights appreciates customer calls about water main breaks or leaks. When you call, it is important that you provide a street address, cross street, or intersection to ensure that the correct area is inspected. Please contact us right away when you notice a possible water main break.
Contact information is as follows, depending on the time of the incident:
Normal Business Hours:
Monday through Friday 7:00 am through 3:30 pm
Public Works Main Desk
Repairs and maintains residential and commercial water meters. The unit also oversees Village-wide contracts for backflow preventer testing and larger commercial meter testing and repair.