Sewer cleaning is not the most glamorous side of running a business; nonetheless, it's something that every commercial operation must take care of. Many commercial buildings have sewer lines that handle a very high volume of waste on a daily basis. Unfortunately, they often handle waste items that should never find their way into the plumbing system in the first place. 

Those waste items — which typically include hygiene products, food waste, trash, and others — can easily accumulate inside the sewer line, prompting slow drainage or complete blockages.

If that happens, one or more of the following plumbing issues will likely follow, which are strong indications that your building is due for commercial sewer cleaning.

1. Foul Odors Emanating From Drains

Every drain in a commercial building drains into the main sewer line. So, it's not uncommon for infrequently used drains to emit odd or foul odors when their P-traps dry up. The p-trap is the u-shaped bend in the pipe just below the drain, which is designed to contain a small amount of water to prevent sewer gases from wafting up through the drain and into the building.

If you come across an odd-smelling drain that sees little use, try pouring a bucket of water into the drain to see if that solves the problem. If a dried-up p-trap is the culprit, the water you pour in will refill the p-trap and prevent sewer gases from escaping the drain.

If, however, you notice that drains that see daily use are starting to emit foul odors, it's time to call a commercial drain cleaning specialist. A major clog could be causing slow drainage and forcing wastewater to back up into the lowermost sections of the drains. Since that wastewater is loaded with bacteria (and probably some sewage), it'll emit a positively awful smell.

2. Inconsistent Water Levels in Toilets

Toilets should contain the same amount of water all the time. So, if you notice there's plenty of water in your building's toilets one day and hardly any the next, you've probably got a sewer line problem on your hands. Luckily, commercial sewer cleaning can likely solve it.

Water level inconsistencies are often caused by debris buildup in the line, which a sewer cleaning specialist can easily remove with commercial water jetting. If you notice inconsistencies regularly, a drain camera inspection can also alert you to potential issues with the drainage pipe that might be contributing to the problem.

3. Pooling Wastewater Outdoors

If your building has a bit of open property around it and you ever notice pools of water building up in the grass, there may be a leak in your main sewer line. But it's virtually impossible to determine what's causing wastewater to pool without inspecting the line's interior.

Since the sewer line is buried underground, a drain camera inspection is the best way to see what's causing the issue without excavating the land around the line.

To fix the issue, you'll first need to schedule an inspection with a drain cleaning specialist. If the inspection reveals the line is in good shape (no cracks or other forms of damage), thorough water jetting should clear the line and allow wastewater to flow freely once again.

4. Slow Drains

If you notice several of the drains in your building seem to be draining slower than usual, you likely have a main sewer line clog. Because all of the drains within a commercial building empty into the main sewer line, when the main line is partially blocked and drains slowly, all of the drains attached to it will drain slowly, too.

Commercial water jetting can easily solve this issue, provided it does not result from cracks in the line or pipe misalignments. You'll need a sewer camera inspection to determine what's causing the drainage problem, and if it's the result of a clog or tree root intrusion rather than a damaged pipe, drain cleaning can fix it.  

5. Backed-Up Wastewater Inside Interior Drains

Just as a clog in the main line can cause multiple slow drains, it can also cause wastewater to back up into those drains when the problem grows severe. If you ever notice water backing up into the sinks in your building or if you see it flowing out of floor drains, that's a definite sign you need to schedule a sewer cleaning appointment ASAP. If you don't, the problem will only worsen and may create excessive pressure within the line, which can cause serious plumbing damage.

Might your building need a different type of drain cleaning to resolve a backed-up drain? Check out Types of Commercial Drain Cleaning and the Businesses That Need Them to find out.

6. Selling or Transferring the Business

While you might be getting your finances in order and establishing your business value, having the sewer lines inspected and cleaned should also be included in your business selling process. You want the process to go smoothly, and if there are any unseen issues inside the sewer lines, this can come back to haunt you later if it's undisclosed on the sale.

Having an inspection will not only give you peace of mind but also help raise the value of the business because it's one less thing that needs to be addressed by the new owners.

7. Gurgling Sounds Coming From the Drain

There should be very little noise when your drains are clearing, so if you hear water rushing, bubbling, or any other unusual noise, this can indicate a sewer blockage somewhere in the system as the water tries to bypass any obstacles.

If appliances are running, water will move through them, but if you're hearing something unusual, you may need a sewer cleaning.

Need Commercial Sewer Cleaning in the Twin Cities?

Is your commercial building due for a sewer cleaning appointment? Contact Drain Blaster Bill's Sewer & Drain Cleaning to schedule a service!

We offer same-day and emergency sewer cleaning services and serve the entire Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area. Feel free to give us a call today at 763-913-8719 or request a free service estimate online, and we'll reach out with more information.