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Fact Sheet: Collector Line Tips

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Collector Line Tips

Each homeowner who uses a collector line has the responsibility to maintain their septic system so that it does not impair the performance of the collection system.


What is a collector line?

A collector line is a pipe or series of pipes that collect wastewater (effluent) from two or more septic systems, conveying it to a receiving stream or water course. Collector lines may also be part of the storm water infrastructure and carry storm water as well as waste water effluent. The materials used to construct these collector lines can vary widely, including clay, orangeburg, concrete, plastic and poly vinyl chloride (PVC). Collector lines will deteriorate over time if they are abused or neglected. Proper care and maintenance of these lines is very important. Each homeowner who uses a collector line has the responsibility to maintain their septic system so that it does not impair the performance of the collection system.

  • Have your septic system pumped and cleaned regularly. Silt and sludge from your system collects in the collector pipe over time and can eventually cause a clog.
  • If your septic system is an aeration treatment system, make sure the motor is operating properly at all times. The oxygen the motor adds to the effluent helps break down the solids and organic matter. This helps create an effluent that has fewer solids. Maintenance of your septic system will help reduce future maintenance on the collector line.
  • Keep tree roots away from and out of the collector lines. These roots can cause serious damage to the pipes and can create a blockage in the line.
  • Inform new neighbors that they are connected to the collector line. Share this publication with them.
  • Be considerate of your neighbors who live near the end of the collection line and maintain your septic system.
  • Divert other sources of water away from the collector line so it is not overloaded during heavy rains, if your collection system is a storm sewer this may not be necessary.
  • Avoid parking or driving over the collector line this may crush the pipes, causing major problems that may not show up right away.
  • Avoid planting anything over or near the collector line.
  • Do not dig near or build anything over the collector line.
  • If home is equipped with a garbage disposal avoid using it excessively.
  • Avoid putting the following household materials down plumbing drains:
    • cigarette butts
    • condoms
    • paper towels
    • fats or grease
    • oils, paints or varnishes
    • coffee grinds
    • dental floss
    • disposable diapers
    • kitty litter
    • sanitary napkins and tampons
    • Excessive toilet paper
    • Hair
    • Vegetable waste
    • Bleach and other household cleaners
    • Antibiotic and other medicines

These materials may destroy the biological digestion taking place in your septic system. Disrupting this process will allow solids to pass through the septic system and into the collector line. This could cause clogging in the collection system.



For more information, contact the Water Quality Division at 513.946.7966, or visit


Download a printable version of this fact sheet here.


250 William Howard Taft Road
2nd Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Phone 513.946.7800 Fax 513.946.7890