How Sewer Systems Work

How Sewer Systems Work

Sewage is the term used to describe water that is flushed or expelled down a drain. The water in your toilet is obviously contaminated once used, but so is the water being rinsed down the shower drain or processed by your kitchen dishwasher, which is why sewer line repair is an essential Pittsburgh plumbing service that should be taken care of as soon as possible. Contact us for emergency plumbing services 24/7.

The Purpose of Your Sewer System

Sanitary disposal is crucial to preventing the spread of disease. The bacteria in human waste, E. coli and others, can be life-threatening and a significant health hazard. Sewage that is routed or dumped into nearby freshwater ways naturally finds it way into the groundwater that is processed through treatment facilities, but this is not always enough to prevent the spread of disease. If your home is connected to a city sewer system as opposed to a septic tank, all of its waste water is funneled safely away to a specialized, public treatment center.

The effects sewage has on the environment are just as detrimental as those on humans and animals. Waste water consists of many suspended solids and toxic chemicals, nitrogen being one of these. Though it has long been used as an effective fertilizer, it is also notorious for causing substantial algae growth in freshwater, thus further contributing to contamination. Countless numbers of fish and water wildlife are killed as a result of oxygen deficits in freshwater.

How the System Works

Gravity-powered sewage removal is needed for optimal efficiency, and many municipalities have taken measures to accomplish this. In every case where a septic tank is not involved, the main sewer line of each home and building is connected to the street. Vertical pipes and manholes are used for access and maintenance purposes, and the public sewer main gradually increases in size to accommodate the additional wastewater en route to the nearest treatment facility.

Often times, grinder pumps and lift stations are used to propel the sewage over hills since gravity alone is rarely enough. Needless to say, without this elaborate system, the world as we know it would be far from inhabitable. Disease and contamination would be rampant. Contact our licensed plumbers if you suspect you need a sewer line replacement to keep yourself, your family and the environment safe.