Sewer cleaning causes water to shoot out of toilets - KPTV - FOX 12

Sewer cleaning causes water to shoot out of toilets

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Some residents in southeast Portland dealt with a messy, stinky situation Wednesday after water forcefully shot out of their toilets.

It happened while sewer cleaning crews were forcing compressed air into manholes near southeast Long Street and 58th Avenue as part of routine maintenance.

John Carter was in his bathroom shaving when he noticed something odd.

"I look down, and it was like out of a movie. All of the water was just pouring out the edges of the toilet," Carter said.

Meanwhile, his roommate upstairs, Angie Davis, was having a similar problem.

"All of a sudden, I hear this like gurgling noise, and I ran in to the bathroom. And of course, the lid was open, and it was spraying out from my toilet," said Davis. "It smelled awful. It smelled like sewer."

An inspector who came to research their complaint said it does smell when this happens, but said the water that shoots out is rarely from the sewer itself.

The Portland Department of Transportation said the compressed air used by sewer cleaning crews occasionally goes where it's not supposed to and needs to find a way out – the air forces the water in a home's pipes out with it. A spokeswoman said of the one million feet of pipe cleaning completed in 2012, there were only a dozen complaints about water shooting out of toilets.

At the close of business, the city had only received one complaint, but another neighbor said he was sitting on his toilet when water shot out of it.

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