Difference Between Sanitary and Storm Sewers

Many people do not know the difference between a sanitary sewer and a storm sewer, so they end up regretting pouring certain types of chemical cleaners on either. The truth is, there is a big difference between these two. Plumbers and contractors are definitely aware of this, but homeowners may not be. Here are some facts to distinguish between a sanitary sewer and a storm sewer.

Essentially, a sanitary sewer is a system meant specially to carry water and waste runoff away from your bathrooms, sink, and other plumbing. The water that flows is then processed in a wastewater treatment plan for filtration, treatment and discharge. This type of sewer can get your home into a literal filthy mess should it act up due to clogged pipes.

Storm sewers on the other hand, are made to carry rainfall and water runoff from a paved surface for discharge into local streams, rivers, lakes and other nearby bodies of water. Take note that because a storm sewer discharges at an actual living ecosystem, it is not meant to carry toxic or otherwise hazardous wastes.

While your sanitary sewers can take essentially anything that you can throw at it, except of course those things that can cause your drain pipes to clog, storm sewers should be kept away from motor oil, paint, chemical cleaners, and other materials that could damage the environment. Moreover, you should also free them of clogs, which many contractors often do by employing useful equipment like vactor trucks.

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