Career summary

Details for Septic Tank Servicers and Sewer Pipe Cleaners


Description

Clean and repair septic tanks, sewer lines, or drains. May patch walls and partitions of tank, replace damaged drain tile, or repair breaks in underground piping.

Tasks

  • Communicate with supervisors and other workers, using equipment such as wireless phones, pagers, or radio telephones.
  • Drive trucks to transport crews, materials, and equipment.
  • Inspect manholes to locate sewer line stoppages.
  • Operate sewer cleaning equipment, including power rodders, high-velocity water jets, sewer flushers, bucket machines, wayne balls, and vac-alls.
  • Prepare and keep records of actions taken, including maintenance and repair work.
  • Clean and repair septic tanks, sewer lines, or related structures such as manholes, culverts, and catch basins.
  • Measure excavation sites, using plumbers' snakes, tapelines, or lengths of cutting heads within sewers, and mark areas for digging.
  • Service, adjust, and make minor repairs to equipment, machines, and attachments.
  • Locate problems, using specially designed equipment, and mark where digging must occur to reach damaged tanks or pipes.
  • Dig out sewer lines manually, using shovels.
  • Clean and disinfect domestic basements and other areas flooded by sewer stoppages.
  • Withdraw cables from pipes and examine them for evidence of mud, roots, grease, and other deposits indicating broken or clogged sewer lines.
  • Ensure that repaired sewer line joints are tightly sealed before backfilling begins.
  • Rotate cleaning rods manually, using turning pins.
  • Install rotary knives on flexible cables mounted on machine reels, according to the diameters of pipes to be cleaned.
  • Start machines to feed revolving cables or rods into openings, stopping machines and changing knives to conform to pipe sizes.
  • Update sewer maps and manhole charts.
  • Cover repaired pipes with dirt, and pack backfilled excavations, using air and gasoline tampers.
  • Cut damaged sections of pipe with cutters, remove broken sections from ditches, and replace pipe sections, using pipe sleeves.
  • Requisition or order tools and equipment.
  • Break asphalt and other pavement so that pipes can be accessed, using airhammers, picks, and shovels.
  • Tap mainline sewers to install sewer saddles.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.
  • Experience - Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.

Knowledge

  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills

Related careers