What are these pipes for?

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I'm having the side sewer replaced in my 50 yr old home (Tacoma, WA). On either side of the sewer line as it leaves the foundation, are two other concrete pipes the same diameter, which join the middle pipe and dump into the sewer main. We tested and all the wastewater from the house comes out the middle pipe. What are the two other pipes designed to do? It's impossible to tell what they lead to, upstream.
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Things change over a span of 50 years. They may not go anywhere anymore. You could, if you really want to know, use a smoke test. TB
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On 25 Dec 2004 15:08:01 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@networkguy.com wrote:

Do you have rain gutters with downspouts that go underground? Here in OH, years ago there was no separate storm sewer and downspouts tied into the sanitary. Now that's illegal and downspounts must discharge into storm sewer or daylight. Maybe the other pipes run or did run to your downspouts?
Paul
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snipped-for-privacy@networkguy.com wrote:

If it is an older home they may be the footer, foundation or floor drains. -- Tom H
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Likely stormwater drain connections. Eliminate them. They need to be gone. AND you need to only have your sewer line connected to a connection higher than grade level. That way, if there's a backup, you're not replacing furnace, water heater, etc. If there's a floor drain, this is the time to connect it to a sump pump, rather than have sewage come in by way of a basement line if there's a backup. Got a washing machine in the basement? Use the sump pump for it, too. Oneway valve? Don't believe it. The flap can be held open by a mop string. And if there is a backup, and the oneway valve is being closed, when you flush your commode you know what may show up in the basement. Better if there's a backup for the liquid to overflow from the manhole cover at the street, or into someone else's basement.

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Don't you think it would be smart to find out what they are before eliminating them? Just plugging them up is about the dumbest idea I've heard in a while. All sorts of damage may occur if something is draining into them, like downspouts.
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The only thing that should go into the sewer line is sewage. The sewage has been verified as only going in one of the pipes. Yes, they are likely stubbed off downspout connections. Need to be gone. Do you see it some other way?
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Michael Baugh wrote:

Yeah, I see he needs to be <da...> certain he knows what he's cutting off before just doing so. Suggesting to "just eliminate" them w/o having a clue of what they are is just irresponsible imo. (Which was Edwin's point, too, obviously).
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Before anything is "gone", you must make provision for what feeds into them. Before you can do that, they must be traced to the source. It would not make sense to plug them and have the spring rains flood the basement because you just found out what goes into them. Could they be lines from the house in the back neighbors sewage? Bet they'd love to have you plug them.
It would be totally irresponsible to plug an underground line now knowing where it comes from.
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All right, already. Stop trying to convince me that you can't read the posts. Sewage in only one of the three pipes. Sewage goes to the sewer. One pipe gets replaced to go to the sewer. Happens all the time, in combined discharge areas. Easy enough, for some, to see that their stormwater gets delivered to the yard, and sewage to the sewer. Even if it's sewage from 15 neighbors, instead of just the one you contrived, it still goes to the sewer. Nothing else. So get off the stormwater pony. Rain water does not go to the sewer, and frequently the municipal sewage people will smoketest a property to verify that the downspouts are not connected to the sewer. So disconnect yours, too, instead of trying to justify it.

the
them.
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Get off it already. You made a stupid suggestions (just remove...), been called on it and now you just made another dumb reply. There are -lots- of communities where stormwater is still feeding into the sewage...usually small communities but there they are.
Harry K
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There is a MASSIVE number of communities that still have stormwater going into the sewers. But I'll bet the people in the ones that have that would be able to figure out where their downspouts go.

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I read very well, thank you. The problem is not replacing the sew. It is as you suggest, cutting and blocking pipes of unknown use. Read what you suggested and use some common sense, It is just plain dumb to plug something unless you know what it is there form. It could well be the sewage lines for other homes, it could be downspouts, it could be a lot of things. I think if you review what you said, you'll agree it is a dumb idea.

If it is so easy to see, the OP would not be asking.

I'm not on an pony. My point is the reason is UNKNOWN and blocking them can be a danger.

Jusitfy? No reason to as m ine go to the storm drain, not the sewer system. All approved by the town. Why don't you understand the work UNKNOWN? I stand by what I said about plugging lines of UNKNOWN origin and use.
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Michael Baugh wrote:

Yes. You may be surprised what they may be. A contractor working on building a garage for the home behind mine run into a pipe when he dug the foundations. He just broke it up and went on his way. When I flushed my toilet he came over to tell me to not do that it was flooding his foundation. Well the city building department thought otherwise. He had to stop his construction, patch the pipe and pay for my new sewer tap. About a month later after the new sewer tap was in he was allowed to continue his work on the garage. The owner of that home was non-too happy with him.
You don't just cut of what you don't know, unless you are a fool.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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You're talking about a sewer line. Not a matter of cutting off a pipe of unknown contents. The other two have been verified as not carrying sewage. Perhaps I've misread the OP? If so, in what way?
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"Michael Baugh" wrote

Perhaps you have misread the OP. Their waste water runs the middle pipe. They in noway state the other two pipes are not sewer lines. The other two pipes very well may be pipes from near by structures (neighbors). Though this practice would be unheard of in todays building codes, I know it existed in previous times. It would be cutting pipes of unknown useage.
OP: "I'm having the side sewer replaced in my 50 yr old home (Tacoma, WA). On either side of the sewer line as it leaves the foundation, are two other concrete pipes the same diameter, which join the middle pipe and dump into the sewer main. We tested and all the wastewater from the house comes out the middle pipe. What are the two other pipes designed to do? It's impossible to tell what they lead to, upstream."
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Hey, you're right. So before replacing his pipe, he needs to see if there is sewage running or has run in the others. If there is, the other owners need to participate. Thanks for the repost.

two
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Read the OP again. He has no idea what the pipes were for, they MAY be for sewage. Face it, you blew it, recommending that he just block off the pipes without knowing what they are for is a very bad idea! Greg
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Call the sewer department. In Tacoma they are in the process of relining all of the old sewer lines in the city. They are several years into this process. They first come through with a camera through the main and locate all of the side sewer hookups and then identify them so they can cut out for them after they reline. They have very good records of the lines that they have already done.
Two of the homes that I have owned in the northend of Tacoma have had adjacent homes sewer lines running across my property. It would be strange for them to run under your foundation however, unless there has been an addition added to your home or your home is in an old neighborhood and was built well after your neighbors. (50 yrs isn't that old in Tacoma) Check to see if there are records for an easement. I never knew about either one of the sewers on my properties until years after I bought them. It is very common it the older neighborhoods for homes to share a line on private property before it gets to the main.
Under no means dead end them. In the last 50 years you can bet that they have been smoke tested and are not storm water. Unless there is a trap or a very low spot in the line the smoke would have billowed out of your downspouts. If they are a separate perimeter drain into the sanitary, then so be it, leave them hooked to the sewer. CR

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Here in Louisville we routinely encounter sewer lines that serve a property nearby. They are usually at least seven feet deep, obviously running or ran sewage, and the property lines have been changed a couple times since they were installed. Often, they were a carriage house or a mother-in-law house, and are no longer seen as part of the property. That's why part of the concern is valid, the fact that you don't know what it is isn't basis for removal. Having established that all the sewage is in one pipe, none in the others, and not knowing why the other pipes are there is sufficient cause for eliminating them, unless there's a vacant building nearby. Even if there is, that's what new property service connections are for. Perimeter drains are not supposed to go to the sewer. They are stormwater, and should be directed otherwise. Part of that is to keep stormwater from overwhelming a sewage treatment plant, another is to keep sewage backups from filling perimeter drain areas and potentially delivering sewage to the surface. My opinion, worth what you paid for it.

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