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Power LinesAny time you clear a sewer line, take these steps to work safely:

  • Before cleaning. Call 811 so facility owners can mark the location of their underground lines at the property. If these marks cross the path of the sewer line, a cross bore may be causing the blockage. Also ask the property owner about any recent nearby utility installation work that could have created a cross bore. If you suspect a cross bore is causing the blockage, take these precautions:
    • If you own or can obtain access to an inline camera, use it to assess the blockage before attempting to clear it. If the camera view is obstructed due to the clog, vacuum it out first.
    • If a camera is not available, run a hydro-jetter through the line to clear it. Do not use a cutting tool.
  • During cleaning. If you cannot verify the nature of the obstruction, use the least invasive equipment possible, such as a hydro-jetter. If you sense resistance that does not resemble a tree root or other common obstruction, do not force it. Stop immediately and call Ameren Illinois at 800.755.5000.
  • After cleaning. Natural gas pipes are typically plastic; electric lines may be direct buried or run through a conduit. If you have used a cutting tool, look for yellow, orange, or gray plastic on the blades when you withdraw it. Watch for bubbles escaping from the entry point of the clearing equipment or toilet and/or use a combustible gas indicator or other gas detection equipment, if available.

Take precautions to detect a cross bore before, during, and after clearing any sewer line blockage. If you suspect a cross bore, suspend work and call us at 800.755.5000.