All you wanted to know about sewers – But did not know how to ask

Sewage disposal is critical to the municipal separate storm sewer system (ms4) permit. All humans have always managed sewage. Civilization has come a very long way from digging latrines using just shovels. Here are some concise definitions of the most basic types of sewage and sewer systems civilization currently has – or has had.

Storm sewer: Maybe known best as the home of Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles, this sewer system gathers water from rainfall via drainage gates and storm drains on the streets in major cities. Here, the storm runoff travels directly into water bodies that are nearby.

Combined sewer: This features a dual-purpose piping system: one of the pipes carries stormwater and waste. When heavy rain falls, the pipe could overfill thus letting waste reach the overflow dam and ultimately a local water body. In most countries, combined sewers aren’t constructed these days as they are sometimes detrimental to the environment, but those already in existence are still being used. To decrease their environmental impact, several cities have added retention ponds and tunnels to hold what would have hitherto turned into runoff, to the local water bodies. Excess water therefore gets held separately till it gets treated after the storms.

Effluent sewer: This is also called the municipal sewage system or the public sewer system sometimes. It’s found in metropolitan areas, and there are those that even date back to some hundreds of years. They are required to get an ms4 permit. Pipes convey waste water and human waste to a treatment facility for the solid matter to be removed and the water filtered. The filtered water then gets processed at varying levels to eliminate microorganisms that could be hazardous. Once the level of hazardous bacteria in the water has been decreased to natural levels, the water is then returned into the local system.

Septic tank: The infamous septic tanks are the domestic sewage systems that aren’t connected to any municipal system. They are normally marked by a patch of grass that’s green. Up to 20% of homes globally depend on septic tanks which are considered as smaller on-site treatment plant versions. Waste is decomposed by the anaerobic bacteria contained in the tank. Preventative maintenance is critical and consistently cleaning a tank out enables it to serve for several decades, preventing painfully costly repairs later.

River-basin sewerage: Initiated by the authorities and backed by laws and regulations to conserve priceless water, this type of sewer system uses a disposal treatment facility which keeps out sewage water but gathers rainwater to be distributed later.

So, these are the varying types of sewer systems. If you happen to be renting an apartment, building a new house, or considering living in any neighborhood anywhere, you are most probable to find yourself having to deal with at least one of these sewage systems that have been listed. Understanding a little about them, such as the fact that they are needed to get municipal separate storm sewer system permits, will certainly help you in troubleshooting issues, making decisions, and deciding on the right improvements for your particular living situation.


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