Just Shelley

Test of new check valve

Municipal size check valve with engineer standing in front for perspective

Today will be the first test of the specially engineered duck billed check valve designed specifically for our lateral sewer line.

The O’Fallon Sewer folks really came through for us, being able to find a company who was willing to create something specifically for our odd and trying situation.

Our lateral sewer opens directly into a manhole. The Lake St. Louis force main dumps directly into the O’Fallon gravity main at this same location. And the Lake St. Louis folks have badly overtasked the line. On rainy days, the flow almost overflows the manhole, and the force is enough to drive the flow into our pipes. Loudly.

They’re re-routing the force main to a new gravity main elsewhere, but that work won’t be done until end of year. (Note, in 2023, it’s still noe done.)

Every time we’d get over 1.45″ in 24 hours, the sewer would back up into our bathrooms, leak into basement. Not pleasant.

Regular check valves can’t work, because we always got a little bit of backflow, which would keep the valve closed all the time.

The O’Fallon Sewer Assistant Supervisor wouldn’t give up, and found the duck billed check valve that could work in these circumstances. The company agreed to design one just for us.

It literally is a miniature version of this beastie. You all thought I was joking, but nope, it’s a miniature of these.

It was a real operation to install it, too. They had to shut down the force main, send a truck to blow air into the gravity main further down the line, and lower some poor guy into the manhole. The steps broke, and he had to watch out for the rebar.

Works great when things are calm. Now, in the next two days, we get a real test. Fingers crossed.