Sewer systems. Unless you’re a part of a small percentage of people who live off grid or use a tree as a toilet, you likely are a part of a sewer system. Nearly all of us use it, however, barely any of us understand what that means or how it works. Here, we’ll break it down as easily as we can so that we all can understand our sewer system.
Sewer systems are likely to differ slightly from one another, depending on location. However, for the most part, they’re vastly the same. There are two main sewers that are apart of the system: the storm sewer and the sanitary sewer. An easy way to think of them is as the storm sewer as the water collection line, and the sanitary sewer as the waste line. In some systems though these two lines are combined, in which case they act mostly as a sanitary sewer would.
The Storm Sewer
The storm sewer is the line that works to collect water in the system. This is where catch basins (drains in the road), roof drains (gutters), and foundation drains or sump pumps are connected. This system aids in helping make sure that flooding doesn’t occur after a big rainstorm, and usually drains the water into a local body of water. This means nothing but water (and leaves and such) should enter these kinds of lines.
The Sanitary Sewer
The sanitary sewer is the line that disposes of local waste. This line connects to manholes in the street, and plumbing lines within your home such as the toilet or sink drain. This system takes waste from these areas and leads it to treatment facilities for processing. In areas where combined sewer systems are used all of the wastewater and rainwater get mixed together within the line and is then transported to the treatment facility.
The Treatment Facility
Once the sewage arrives at the treatment facility it’s sorted out into a liquid form and a “solid” form called sludge. The liquid is treated, often chlorinated, and disinfected before being released back into the environment in a local body of water to return to the water cycle. The sludge is pretreated by removing large objects from the mixture, then removing the “grit” (which usually consists of rocks, or organic kitchen waste). When all of the treatments and disinfectants are said and done the sludge is disposed of either in a landfill or used as an agricultural treatment.
Your sewer system is an often unthought of part of your everyday life, however it’s also an important part of our lives, keeping our towns clean and unflooded. They help collect water and reuse it whenever possible, stopping flooding in its tracks. They also help to treat and dispose of waste so that we never have to think of it again.
At Faulstick Plumbing, we specialize in installs, repairs, and inspections for all of your well, water, and plumbing needs. Our family-owned and operated business has built a reputation as the best-doing things the right way with the customer in mind, every time. Give us a call at 570-992-0447 to discuss your needs today!