Some of the worst problems are the ones you don’t find out about until it’s too late. Unfortunately, when it comes to plumbing, that tends to be the norm. When something goes wrong, warning signs aren’t always apparent, and a cursory glance around your property won’t tell you if your system is up to code, which is necessary if you plan on selling your home at some point. Dye testing is a great way to take some of the guesswork out of these tricky situations, and in Pittsburgh, it’s absolutely necessary if you want to sell your property in the future.
Dye testing can be used to determine a number of things and fortunately, it’s a very simple process. A fluorescent dye capsule can be flushed down a toilet and then traced to reveal any leaks or problem areas in a plumbing line that need to be repaired. Then, the area is examined for signs of the dye.
Most importantly, dye tests can also be used to:
In this case, the dye is introduced to your drainage system, downspouts, or gutters and is flushed through with water. If the dye ends up in the sewer system, that means rainwater from your property is also leaking into the system. That may not sound like a big deal, but if it’s not corrected, you could have a big mess on your hands.
If you suspect that you’re experiencing an issue with infiltration or improperly connected storm water lines, it’s important that you schedule a dye test. If rain or groundwater from your property gets into sewage lines, it could result in those lines getting backed up and overflowing.
These tests are extremely affordable, accurate, and fast. The dyes used are sensitive enough that any problem can easily be detected. The results are instantaneous, so you’ll know immediately if you need to take any action to correct a problem.
Dye testing is especially important in Pittsburgh because, as of 2006, anyone who wants to sell their property needs to be in compliance with a city ordinance that determines whether or not the property in question is located in a sanitary sewer area or a combined sewer area. Recently, many local homes have had to pay as much as $10,000 to fix property that failed a dye test.
Properties in combined sewer areas can safely handle sewage water and rainwater. On the other hand, sanitary sewer lines are designed to only accommodate the flow of household sewage water. When it rains, runoff from roofs, patios, and driveways can infiltrate sewage lines and cause the lines to overflow, sometimes leading to pollution of nearby rivers and streams.
That’s why the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection requires local governments to form a plan of correction. In Pittsburgh’s case, that means using dye tests to determine whether or not a particular property is improperly connected to a sanitary sewer line.
If your home happens to be located in a sanitary sewer area, you’ll need to complete a dye test and report the results to the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. If you find out that your home is, in fact, connected to a sanitary line, you’ll need to plan on correcting the problem by contacting a professional to help you decide on the best course of action. More than likely, this will involve connecting your property to the correct sewer system and rerouting rainwater runoff elsewhere.
Although it may seem like an inconvenience, mandatory dye testing could save you some major headaches in the future if you’re planning to sell. If you’re able to pinpoint a problem early on, you can correct it now rather than finding out about it at the last minute and being forced to postpone selling your property.