Storm and Sanitary Sewers: How Do they Work

Storm and Sanitary Sewers: How Do they Work

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There are many kinds of sewer systems which serve various purposes. As technology advances, the society has been able to benefit from procedures and machinery which purify water as well as promote better human and environment health. Although it may seem like each sewer system is the same, every sewer is designed for a specific purpose. Read on to understand how a storm sewer and sanitary sewer work:

Purpose of a Storm Sewer

A storm sewer carries rainfall and is usually situated within curbs. It can also carry water caused by melted snow. Storm sewers are found within basement floor drains in buildings, along with driveways and alleys.

Storm sewers are mainly for carrying away excess rain. The rainfall in sewers travels through underground pipes and drains to canals, nearby creeks or oceans. This water is not treated, thus, the water that enters the storm drain is the same water that goes to the water source.

How Sanitary Sewers Work

Sanitary sewers carry sewage instead of rainwater. The sewage which flows through underground pipes is sent to a wastewater facility for treatment before being discharged. Such treatment is meant to remove the smell that comes from the toilet, limiting the amount of pollution which goes into a body of water.

The sewage which flows through a sanitary sewer can come from kitchen sinks, bathrooms or laundry rooms. Sewage from commercial buildings and residential homes are taken by the sewage.

Things to Keep in Mind when Dealing with Sewer Systems

To ensure sewer systems are handled properly to reduce their impacts on the environment, the following must be taken into account:

  • Chemicals must not be dumped down a storm drain.
  • Harsh chemicals must not be poured down the drain. Such chemicals must be taken to a local hazardous waste collection site for their proper disposal.
  • Sewer systems can flood because of some litter such as grass clippings. Thus, these must not be poured down the storm drain.

Any type of sewer deteriorates over time. In case of pipe cracks, a special cement mixture can be used for coating the pipe under high pressure and sealing the cracks. Gone were the days when a complete excavation needed to address these cracks.

In most cities, storm sewers and sanitary systems are separated. Looking at the manhole covers in the street, one can tell which system goes directly to a water source and which one goes to a wastewater plant. It makes sense to check Fibertech’s manhole resource guide for this.

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