Sanitary sewer

A sanitary sewer or foul sewer is an underground pipe or tunnel system for transporting sewage from houses and commercial buildings (but not stormwater) to treatment facilities or disposal. Sanitary sewers are part of an overall system called a sewage system or sewerage.

Sewage may be treated to control water pollution before discharge to surface waters.[1][2] Sanitary sewers serving industrial areas also carry industrial wastewater.

Separate sanitary sewer systems are designed to transport sewage alone. In municipalities served by sanitary sewers, separate storm drains may convey surface runoff directly to surface waters. Sanitary sewers are distinguished from combined sewers, which combine sewage with stormwater runoff in one pipe. Sanitary sewer systems are beneficial because they avoid combined sewer overflows.

PVC sanitary sewer installation. Sanitary sewers are sized to carry the amount of sewage generated by the collection area. Sanitary sewers are much smaller than combined sewers designed to also carry surface runoff.


Sewage treatment is less effective when sanitary waste is diluted with stormwater, and combined sewer overflows occur when runoff from heavy rainfall or snowmelt exceeds the hydraulic capacity of sewage treatment plants.[3] To overcome these disadvantages, some cities built separate sanitary sewers to collect only municipal wastewater and exclude stormwater runoff collected in separate storm drains. The decision between a combined sewer system or two separate systems is mainly based on need for sewage treatment and cost of providing treatment during heavy rain events. Many cities with combined sewer systems built prior to installing sewage treatment have not replaced those sewer systems.[4]


Conventional gravity sewers

Working underground
Manhole access to sewer; person shows scale.
Schematic of the Conventional Gravity Sewer
Schematic of a conventional sanitary sewer to convey blackwater and greywater from households to a centralized sewage treatment facility.[5]
Sewer cover
A manhole cover for a sanitary sewer access point.
View looking down into an open manhole showing two converging sanitary sewer lines. The larger line enters from the right and changes direction within the manhole to exit from the top of the photo. A smaller line enters from the bottom of the photo under the access steps. The concrete floor of the manhole has channels to minimize accumulation of solids.
Interior of a large sanitary sewer viewed from an access manhole.

In the developed world, sewers are pipes from buildings to one or more levels of larger underground trunk mains, which transport the sewage to sewage treatment facilities. Vertical pipes, usually made of precast concrete, called manholes, connect the mains to the surface. Depending upon site application and use, these vertical pipes can be cylindrical, eccentric, or concentric. The manholes are used for access to the sewer pipes for inspection and maintenance, and as a means to vent sewer gases. They also facilitate vertical and horizontal angles in otherwise straight pipelines.[6]

Pipes conveying sewage from an individual building to a common gravity sewer line are called laterals. Branch sewers typically run under streets receiving laterals from buildings along that street and discharge by gravity into trunk sewers at manholes. Larger cities may have sewers called interceptors, receiving flow from multiple trunk sewers.[7][8]

Design and sizing of sanitary sewers considers the population to be served over the anticipated life of the sewer, per capita wastewater production, and flow peaking from timing of daily routines. Minimum sewer diameters are often specified to prevent blockage by solid materials flushed down toilets; and gradients may be selected to maintain flow velocities generating sufficient turbulence to minimize solids deposition within the sewer. Commercial and industrial wastewater flows are also considered, but diversion of surface runoff to storm drains eliminates wet weather flow peaks of inefficient combined sewers.[9]

Force mains

Pumps may be necessary where gravity sewers serve areas at lower elevations than the sewage treatment plant, or distant areas at similar elevations. A lift station is a sewer sump that lifts accumulated sewage to a higher elevation. The pump may discharge to another gravity sewer at that location or may discharge through a pressurized force main to some distant location.[8]

Effluent sewer

Effluent sewer systems, also called septic tank effluent drainage (STED) or solids-free sewer (SFS) systems, have septic tanks that collect sewage from residences and businesses, and the effluent that comes out of the tank is sent to either a centralized sewage treatment plant or a distributed treatment system for further treatment. Most of the solids are removed by the septic tanks, so the treatment plant can be much smaller than a typical plant. In addition, because of the vast reduction in solid waste, a pumping system can be used to move the wastewater rather than a gravity system. The pipes have small diameters, typically 1.5 to 4 inches (4 to 10 cm). Because the waste stream is pressurized, they can be laid just below the ground surface along the land's contour.

Simplified sewer

Simplified sanitary sewers consist of small-diameter pipes, typically around 100 millimetres (4 in), often laid at fairly flat gradients (1 in 200). Although the investment cost for simplified sanitary sewers can be about half the cost of conventional sewers, the requirements for operation and maintenance are usually higher. Simplified sewers are most common in Brazil and are also used in a number of other developing countries.

Vacuum sewer

In low-lying communities, wastewater is often conveyed by vacuum sewer. Pipelines range in size from pipes of 6 inches (150 mm) in diameter to concrete-lined tunnels of up to 30 feet (9 m) in diameter. A low pressure system uses a small grinder pump located at each point of connection, typically a house or business. Vacuum sewer systems use differential atmospheric pressure to move the liquid to a central vacuum station.


Sanitary sewer overflow can occur due to blocked or broken sewer lines, infiltration of excessive stormwater or malfunction of pumps. In these cases untreated sewage is discharged from a sanitary sewer into the environment prior to reaching sewage treatment facilities. To avoid this, maintenance is required.

The maintenance requirements vary with the type of sanitary sewer. In general, all sewers deteriorate with age, but infiltration and inflow are problems unique to sanitary sewers, since both combined sewers and storm drains are sized to carry these contributions. Holding infiltration to acceptable levels requires a higher standard of maintenance than necessary for structural integrity considerations of combined sewers.[10] A comprehensive construction inspection program is required to prevent inappropriate connection of cellar, yard, and roof drains to sanitary sewers.[11] The probability of inappropriate connections is higher where combined sewers and sanitary sewers are found in close proximity, because construction personnel may not recognize the difference. Many older cities still use combined sewers while adjacent suburbs were built with separate sanitary sewers.

For decades, when sanitary sewer pipes cracked or experienced other damage, the only option was an expensive excavation, removal and replacement of the damaged pipe, typically requiring street repavement afterwards. In the mid-1950s a unit was invented where two units at each end with a special cement mixture in between was pulled from one manhole cover to the next, coating the pipe with the cement under high pressure, which then cured rapidly, sealing all cracks and breaks in the pipe.[12] Today, a similar method using epoxy resin is used by some municipalities to re-line aging or damaged pipes, effectively creating a "pipe in a pipe". These methods may be unsuitable for locations where the full diameter of the original pipe is required to carry expected flows, and may be an unwise investment if greater wastewater flows may be anticipated from population growth, increased water use, or new service connections within the expected service life of the repair.

Another popular method for replacing aged or damaged lines is called pipe bursting, where a new pipe, typically PVC or ABS plastic, is drawn through the old pipe behind an "expander head" that breaks apart the old pipe as the new one is drawn through behind it.

These methods are most suitable for trunk sewers, since repair of lines with lateral connections is complicated by making provisions to receive lateral flows without accepting undesirable infiltration from inadequately sealed junctions.


Sanitary sewers evolved from combined sewers built where water was plentiful. Animal feces accumulated on city streets while animal-powered transport moved people and goods. Accumulations of animal feces encouraged dumping chamber pots into streets where night soil collection was impractical.[13] Combined sewers were built to use surface runoff to flush waste off streets and move it underground to places distant from populated areas. Sewage treatment became necessary as population expanded, but increased volumes and pumping capacity required for treatment of diluted waste from combined sewers is more expensive than treating undiluted sewage.[14]

See also


  1. ^ Metcalf, Leonard; Eddy, Harrison P. (1922). Sewerage and Sewage Disposal: A Textbook. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  2. ^ Staley, Cady; Pierson, George S. (1899). The Separate System of Sewerage, Its Theory and Construction. New York: Van Nostrand.
  3. ^ Report to Congress: Impacts and Control of CSOs and SSOs (Report). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). August 2004. p. ES-2. EPA-833-R-04-001.
  4. ^ Metcalf & Eddy, Inc. (1972). Wastewater Engineering: collection, treatment, disposal. New York: McGraw–Hill. p. 119.
  5. ^ Tilley, E., Ulrich, L., Lüthi, C., Reymond, Ph., Zurbrügg, C. (2014) Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies - (2nd Revised Edition). Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Duebendorf, Switzerland. ISBN 978-3-906484-57-0.
  6. ^ "Acu-Sewer Pressure Pipe for Sewer Mains | Acu-Tech Piping Systems". Acu-Tech Piping Systems. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  7. ^ Lee, C.C., ed. (2005). Environmental Engineering Dictionary (4th ed.). Lanham, MD: Government Institutes. p. 423. ISBN 9780865878488.
  8. ^ a b Design and Construction of Sanitary and Storm Sewers. New York: American Society of Civil Engineers and Water Pollution Control Federation. 1969. pp. 2, 288.
  9. ^ Tyler, Richard G. (1959). Civil Engineering Handbook. Section 9 (Fourth ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 1–24.
  10. ^ Hammer, Mark J. Water and Waste-Water Technology (1975) John Wiley & Sons ISBN 0-471-34726-4 p.442
  11. ^ Steel, E.W. and McGhee, Terence J. Water Supply and Sewerage (1979) McGraw-Hill ISBN 0-07-060929-2 p.22
  12. ^ "Sewer Sealing Machine Patches Cracks Underground." Popular Mechanics, April 1956, p. 86.
  13. ^ Bellis, Mary (2018-03-31). "The History of Plumbing". Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  14. ^ Steel, E.W.; McGhee, Terence J. (1979). Water Supply and Sewerage (5th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 318. ISBN 0-07-060929-2.

Backflow is a term in plumbing for an unwanted flow of water in the reverse direction. It can be a serious health risk for the contamination of potable water supplies with foul water. In the most obvious case, a toilet flush cistern and its water supply must be isolated from the toilet bowl. For this reason, building codes mandate a series of measures and backflow prevention devices to prevent backflow.

Backflow in the circulatory system is often called regurgitation or reflux, and various other types of biological backflow are called reflux.

Coginchaug River

The Coginchaug River in Connecticut, with a watershed including 39 sq mi of forests, pastures, farmland, industrial, and commercial areas, is the main tributary of the Mattabesset River. It is 16.1 mi long, and the river flows northwards from a point approximately 1.8 mi south of the Durham line in Guilford, Connecticut into Durham and then Middlefield, meeting the Mattabesset in Middletown, about 0.8 miles (1.3 km) upstream of the Connecticut River. The name "Coginchaug" comes from a local Native American name for the Durham area and it was the original name for the town. It has been said to mean "The Great Swamp", and is a reference to the meadows found in the central part of town.

In 2006, the Coginchaug was among Connecticut's 85 waterways cited to be of "lower quality", in view of the elevated levels of bacteria, including E. coli. Currently, efforts are being made by the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture to reduce the number of bacteria introduced into the river from untreated sewage, sanitary sewer overflow, agricultural runoff, leaking septic tanks, etc.

Combined sewer

A combined sewer is a sewage collection system of pipes and tunnels designed to simultaneously collect surface runoff and sewage water in a shared system. This type of gravity sewer design is no longer used in almost every instance worldwide when constructing new sewer systems. Modern-day sewer designs exclude surface runoff from sanitary sewers, but many older cities and towns continue to operate previously constructed combined sewer systems.Combined sewers can cause serious water pollution problems during combined sewer overflow (CSO) events when combined sewage and surface runoff flows exceed the capacity of the sewage treatment plant, or of the maximum flow rate of the system which transmits the combined sources. In instances where exceptionally high surface runoff occurs (such as large rainstorms), the load on individual tributary branches of the sewer system may cause a back-up to a point where raw sewage flows out of input sources such a toilets, causing inhabited buildings to be flooded with a toxic sewage-runoff mixture, incurring massive financial burdens for cleanup and repair. When combined sewer systems experience these higher than normal throughputs, relief systems cause discharges containing human and industrial waste to flow into rivers, streams, or other bodies of water. Such events frequently cause both negative environmental and lifestyle consequences, including beach closures, contaminated shellfish unsafe for consumption, and contamination of drinking water sources, rendering them temporarily unsafe for drinking and requiring boiling before uses such as bathing or washing dishes.

Fairfax County Water Authority

Fairfax County Water Authority (FCWA or more recently Fairfax Water for short) is the main water company in the Northern Virginia region of the United States, and one of the four major water providers in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (the other three being Virginia American Water, the Washington Aqueduct and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission). Fairfax Water serves most of the populated areas of Fairfax County, and also serves neighboring communities of Alexandria, Prince William County, Virginia and Loudoun County, Virginia through an interconnection with Virginia American Water, which purchases water through wholesale agreements. It serves drinking water to 1.5 million people.

FCWA does not provide sanitary sewer service; this is left to the individual jurisdictions it serves.


Infiltration/Inflow (I/I) causes dilution in sanitary sewers. Dilution of sewage decreases the efficiency of treatment, and may cause sewage volumes to exceed design capacity. Although inflow is technically different from infiltration, it may be difficult to determine which is causing dilution problems in inaccessible sewers. The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines the term infiltration/inflow as combined contributions from both.

Oriole Beach, Florida

Oriole Beach is an unincorporated community located in Santa Rosa County, Florida, United States on Santa Rosa Sound. It lies east of Gulf Breeze on the Fairpoint Peninsula, and about three miles north of Pensacola Beach. Oriole Beach is part of the Pensacola–Ferry Pass–Brent Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The main access road is U.S. Route 98, which runs east to west along the peninsula. The community has its roots as a beach cottage fishing retreat for the residents of Pensacola; some of the original cement block beach cottages are still standing. Permanent homes in Oriole Beach were built along Bay Street which follows an old Indian trail and, subsequently, a logging road that was used to harvest live oak trees for the construction of Civil war sailing ships by the Union Navy in the 1860s. The logging road connected to the Andrew Jackson Trail which linked Pensacola with Jacksonville. The Naval Live Oaks Reservation encompasses a portion of the land where the harvesting took place and where some of the live oak trees continue to grow.

In 1985, a homeowners' association was founded in Oriole Beach; it facilitated the construction of a new boat ramp and bicycle path. The bicycle path is part of the W.D. Childers trail that loops approximately 28 miles around Santa Rosa Sound. The only school in Oriole Beach, Oriole Beach Elementary School, is part of the Santa Rosa County School District.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 1,420 people living in Oriole Beach in 2010 and, from 2011–2015, there were 582 household with a median income of 52,208.Hurricane Ivan made landfall about 30 miles east of Oriole Beach in November 2004. The tidal surge was recorded at 12 feet and the sustained winds were in excess of 120 miles per hour. The Bay Street elevation of Oriole Beach is about 7.0 feet above mean sea level, so some homes on grade were destroyed. Most of the hurricane debris was removed by Santa Rosa County with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant money. As of spring 2007, a few structures and pine trees damaged by Ivan remain to be demolished and removed.In February 2007, the Bay Street roadway was made three feet wider and about six inches higher by the Santa Rosa County Engineering Department. New home construction is now required by the County Land Development Code to be connected to a sanitary sewer force main rather than septic tanks, the practice before Hurricane Ivan. The city of Gulf Breeze supplies sanitary sewer and natural gas service to the community. Potable water is supplied by a private water system from two elevated tanks connected to local water wells.

Plumber's snake

A plumber's snake or drain snake is a slender, flexible auger used to dislodge clogs in plumbing. The plumber's snake is often reserved for difficult clogs that cannot be loosened with a plunger. It is also sometimes called a toilet jack. A plumbers snake is often used by plumbers to clear a clogged drain pipe or sanitary sewer.

Rural Utilities Service

The United States Rural Utilities Service (RUS) administers programs that provide infrastructure or infrastructure improvements to rural communities. These include water and waste treatment, electric power, and telecommunications services. it is an operating unit of the USDA Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It was created in 1935 as the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), a New Deal agency promoting rural electrification.

A total of 890 rural electric and 800 rural telecommunications utilities in 47 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Marshall Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia have received financial assistance. Approximately 7,200 rural communities are served through financial assistance received from water and waste loans and grants.The RUS administers the following programs:

Water and Environmental: provides financial assistance for drinking water, sanitary sewer, solid waste and storm drainage facilities in rural areas and communities with a population of 10,000 or less.

Electric Programs: help maintain, expand, upgrade and modernize the rural electric infrastructure. It also supports demand-side management, energy efficiency and conservation programs, and on-and off-grid renewable energy systems.

Telecommunications: helps deploy the rural telecommunications infrastructure.

Sandy Hollow Landfill

The Sandy Hollow Landfill or Barrie Landfill is a landfill located near Barrie, Ontario in Canada.

The landfill started receiving waste in the early 1960s and it has three cells (each with three sections). There is a leachate collection system, a system of pipes that catch drippings and water from the garbage and relays it to the city’s sanitary sewer system and Water Pollution Control Centre for treatment. The containment system also serves older areas of the landfill, which totals 18 hectares of the 121-hectare property.In 2008, Barrie started a $4.46-million project to help create more space in the landfill and extend Sandy Hollow's lifespan until 2024. The work involves removing more than 750,000 square feet (70,000 m2) of sand.

The Barrie Landfill project encompassed one of the first dual layered synthetic liner landfill cells in Ontario, complete with a collection system for liquid flowing from the landfill called leachate, coupled with a purge well hydraulic barrier. The new cell will protect groundwater while giving the City up to a decade of new capacity at current infilling rates.

Sanitary sewer overflow

Not to be confused with combined sewer overflow (CSO)

Sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) is a condition in which untreated sewage is discharged from a sanitary sewer into the environment prior to reaching sewage treatment facilities. When caused by rainfall it is also known as wet weather overflow. It is primarily meaningful in developed countries, which have extensive treatment facilities. Frequent causes of SSO spills include:

Blockage of sewer lines

Infiltration/Inflow of excessive stormwater into sewer lines during heavy rainfall

Malfunction of pumping station lifts or electrical power failure

Broken sewer lines.SSOs can cause gastrointestinal illnesses, beach closures and restrictions on fish and shellfish consumption.


Sewage (or domestic wastewater or municipal wastewater) is a type of wastewater that is produced by a community of people. It is characterized by volume or rate of flow, physical condition, chemical and toxic constituents, and its bacteriologic status (which organisms it contains and in what quantities). It consists mostly of greywater (from sinks, tubs, showers, dishwashers, and clothes washers), blackwater (the water used to flush toilets, combined with the human waste that it flushes away); soaps and detergents; and toilet paper (less so in regions where bidets are widely used instead of paper).

Sewage usually travels from a building's plumbing either into a sewer, which will carry it elsewhere, or into an onsite sewage facility (of which there are many kinds). Whether it is combined with surface runoff in the sewer depends on the sewer design (sanitary sewer or combined sewer). The reality is, however, that most wastewater produced globally remains untreated causing widespread water pollution, especially in low-income countries: A global estimate by UNDP and UN-Habitat is that 90% of all wastewater generated is released into the environment untreated. In many developing countries the bulk of domestic and industrial wastewater is discharged without any treatment or after primary treatment only.

The term sewage is nowadays regarded as an older term and is being more and more replaced by "wastewater". In general American English usage, the terms "sewage" and "sewerage" mean the same thing. In common British usage, and in American technical and professional English usage, "sewerage" refers to the infrastructure that conveys sewage.


Sewer may refer to:

Part of sewerage, the infrastructure that conveys sewage

Sanitary sewer, a system of pipes used to transport sewage - several types of sanitary sewers can be distinguished

Storm drain, a collection and transportation system for storm water

Combined sewer

Sewer, one who does sewing

Keeper of sewer, official overseeing service to King Henry VIII's household

Sewers (album)


Sewerage is the infrastructure that conveys sewage or surface runoff (stormwater, meltwater, rainwater) using sewers. It encompasses components such as receiving drains, manholes, pumping stations, storm overflows, and screening chambers of the combined sewer or sanitary sewer. Sewerage ends at the entry to a sewage treatment plant or at the point of discharge into the environment. It is the system of pipes, chambers, manholes, etc. that conveys the sewage or storm water.

In American colloquial English, "sewer system" is applied more frequently to the large infrastructure of sewers that British speakers more often refer to as "sewerage".

Site plan

For Archaeological site plan, see Archaeological plan

A site plan is a landscape architectural plan, and a detailed engineering drawing of proposed improvements to a given lot. A site plan usually shows a building footprint, travelways, parking, drainage facilities, sanitary sewer lines, water lines, trails, lighting, and landscaping and garden elements.Such a plan of a site is a "graphic representation of the arrangement of buildings, parking, drives, landscaping and any other structure that is part of a development project".A site plan is a "set of construction drawings that a builder or contractor uses to make improvements to a property. Counties can use the site plan to verify that development codes are being met and as a historical resource. Site plans are often prepared by a design consultant who must be either a licensed engineer, architect, landscape architect or land surveyor".

Smoke testing (mechanical)

Smoke testing refers to various classes of tests of systems, usually intended to determine whether they are ready for more robust testing. The expression probably was first used in plumbing in referring to tests for the detection of cracks, leaks or breaks in closed systems of pipes.

Spotswood sewer tunnel

The Spotswood sewer tunnel is a sanitary sewer tunnel in Melbourne, Victoria. It was constructed in 1895 to take sewerage under the Yarra River to the Spotswood Pumping Station, where it was pumped to the Werribee Sewage Farm.The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) was created in 1892 and appointed eminent British engineer James Mansergh to advise on a suitable system. However, local engineer William Thwaites was responsible for the design and construction. The system included sewer mains from the Melbourne CBD and southeastern suburbs extending across Fishermans Bend to a point opposite the pumping station. A tunneling shield was imported from Britain, to the design of British engineer James Henry Greathead. This was a 3.4 metres diameter cylindrical shield made of cast iron and steel plate. It was driven into the soft clays by hydraulic rams and maintained at two to three times atmospheric pressure to inhibit groundwater inflow with an airlock to allow miners to enter and exit. Cast-iron ring segments were bolted behind the shield as it advanced and then the tunnel was lined with 30 centimeters of concrete.On the night 12 April 1895 (Good Friday), the shield failed and the river flooded into the tunnel drowning a young engineer and five workers. Three other men were waiting to enter through the air lock, and saw the incident through a small thick glass window, but were unable to do anything. Thousands of tons of clay were dumped in the riverbed to seal the hole and the tunnel pumped out. the bodies were recovered and work resumed under a new contractor. The river tunnel was finally completed 12 months later.A memorial for the six who died is located at the West Gate Bridge Memorial Park off Hyde Street.

Storm drain

A storm drain, storm sewer (U.S. and Canada), surface water drain/sewer (United Kingdom), or stormwater drain (Australia and New Zealand) is infrastructure designed to drain excess rain and ground water from impervious surfaces such as paved streets, car parks, parking lots, footpaths, sidewalks, and roofs. Storm drains vary in design from small residential dry wells to large municipal systems.

Drains receive water from street gutters on most motorways, freeways and other busy roads, as well as towns in areas with heavy rainfall that leads to flooding, and coastal towns with regular storms. Even gutters from houses and buildings can connect to the storm drain. Many storm drainage systems are gravity sewers that drain untreated storm water into rivers or streams—so it is unacceptable to pour hazardous substances into the drains.

Storm drains often cannot manage the quantity of rain that falls in heavy rains or storms. Inundated drains can cause basement and street flooding. In many areas require detention tanks inside a property that temporarily hold runoff in heavy rains and restrict outlet flow to the public sewer. This reduces the risk of overwhelming the public sewer. Some storm drains mix stormwater (rainwater) with sewage, either intentionally in the case of combined sewers, or unintentionally.

Vitrified clay pipe

Vitrified clay pipe (VCP) is pipe made from a blend of clay and shale that has been subjected to high temperature to achieve vitrification, which results in a hard, inert ceramic.

VCP is commonly used in gravity sewer collection mains because of its long life and resistance to almost all domestic and industrial sewage, particularly the sulfuric acid that is generated by hydrogen sulfide, a common component of sewage. Only hydrofluoric acid and highly concentrated caustic wastes are known to attack VCP. Such wastes would not be permitted to be discharged into a municipal sewage collection system without adequate pretreatment.There are three main types of VCP produced in the U.S.: Bell & Spigot Pipe (with factory-applied compression joints), Band-Seal pipe (with rubber compression couplings) and NO-DIG(R) Pipe (for trenchless installation with an elastomeric gasket and stainless steel collar for a low-profile compression joint). All VCP manufactured in the U.S. must comply with ASTM C425 to provide a flexible leak-free joint.

Clay pipe has been in-use in sanitary sewer systems for at least 5,000 years


Wastewater (or waste water) is any water that has been affected by human use. Wastewater is "used water from any combination of domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural activities, surface runoff or stormwater, and any sewer inflow or sewer infiltration". Therefore, wastewater is a byproduct of domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural activities. The characteristics of wastewater vary depending on the source. Types of wastewater include: domestic wastewater from households, municipal wastewater from communities (also called sewage) or industrial wastewater from industrial activities. Wastewater can contain physical, chemical and biological pollutants.

Households may produce wastewater from flush toilets, sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, bath tubs, and showers. Households that use dry toilets produce less wastewater than those that use flush toilets.

Wastewater may be conveyed in a sanitary sewer which conveys only sewage. Alternatively, it can be transported in a combined sewer which includes stormwater runoff and industrial wastewater. After treatment at a wastewater treatment plant, the treated wastewater (also called effluent) is discharged to a receiving water body. The terms "wastewater reuse" or "water reclamation" apply if the treated waste is used for another purpose. Wastewater that is discharged to the environment without suitable treatment causes water pollution.

In developing countries and in rural areas with low population densities, wastewater is often treated by various on-site sanitation systems and not conveyed in sewers. These systems include septic tanks connected to drain fields, on-site sewage systems (OSS), vermifilter systems and many more.

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