Importance of Inspecting and Maintaining Your Underground Storm Sewer System

Storm Sewer Systems are often out of sight, out of mind………until they stop functioning as designed.

It is important to inspect these systems on a regular basis to determine what is going on underground.  The structures that make up these systems can range from 4″ to 10′ dia pipes or precast box culverts.  The definition of a Storm Sewer System could include HDPE, CMP, or RCP pipe that conveys storm water from Point “A” to Point “B”.  These points usually run from an inlet to inlet, inlet to manhole, with a discharge to daylight at an endwall. Also, in addition to these pipes, a concrete box culvert can be utilized for the purpose of capturing and holding storm water, for a slow release into the ground (Retention Basin) or a slow discharge into the downstream water shed (Detention Basin).

The situation shown in the above photo is found in a Detention Basin. The trash, sediment with the attached heavy metals and hydrocarbons, is entering the Detention Basin through inlets that have no Inlet Filter.  These pollutants will continue to pollute the downstream watershed, defeating the purpose of the BMP installation until trash and sediment is removed and properly disposed at a DEP approved facility.

The source of the sediment shown in this photo primarily comes from inlets that have no Inlet Filters installed in them.  This Detention Basin will continue to slowly fill with sediment with each storm event. The sediment will displace water volume the system was designed to hold, which in turn, reduces storage volume of storm water. The consequence will be, as the storage volume of this Detention Basin is reduced, the storm events this basin is capable of holding will become smaller and smaller as fresh sediment enters during each storm event.  As a result of this activity, the system will begin to back up into the streets and parking lots, even into adjacent buildings..

Another issue is if structural failure occurs within a storm water system and is undetected or……..

….the pipe deteriorates, as shown in the above photo, where the bottom of the pipe is completely eaten away, allowing water to flow under the pipe, washing out the stone subbase placed under the pipe or……

…..the pipe joints separate, allowing soil to wash into the interior of the pipe, creating voids around the exterior of the system and the potential for a collapse due to the resulting sinkholes…….

…….the parking lot of a large commercial property being flooded……

…….joints in this underground detention basin leaked creating a sinkhole, collapsing the parking lot of a large commercial property, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs.

All of the above situations could have been avoided with regularly scheduled inspections.  If these inspections indicate the storm water systems are starting to become compromised, corrective action can be taken before a small issue turns into a crisis of flooded areas or collapsed parking lots.

Remember…routine inspections helps to keep the overall costs down and allows property owners to budget for preventative maintenance so corrective action can be scheduled before a small problem builds into a major (and costly) crisis.

Here at Your Quality Solutions (YQS), we have the latest equipment, certified personnel and years of experience to perform the required inspections, make recommendations and to take the corrective action necessary to keep your storm sewer system functioning as designed. YQS also fabricates, installs and maintains the Your Quality Stormwater Protector Inlet Filter reducing the amount of sediment, trash and hydrocarbons from entering your storm sewer system, thereby reducing overall maintenance costs.


For additional information about Your Quality Solutions, please contact:

Angela Lundberg – President (717.468.2754,

Juan C Salas – Sales / Field Operations (717.725.3335 ),

Tim Strayer – Design and Estimating Manager (717.203.3789

Monique Udoh – Sales / Philadelphia region (267.760.3244

Dale Groff – Project Developer (717.203.0920

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YQS is Your Quality Solutions