Where Does Sewer Water Go?

Ever wondered where the water goes when a toilet is flushed? The answer isn’t as simple as you might think. For starters, does your property use a septic system or do you live in a city that operates a separate or combined sewer line system?

Septic systems consist of a buried tank made of concrete, fiberglass or plastic material that holds collected wastewater from your home long enough for the solids to break down and collect at the bottom of the tank.

If your city utilizes a combined sewer system, wastewater from homes and businesses flows into a sewer drain that also collects storm water. If it’s a separate sewer system, wastewater flows into a drain that specifically collects waste. In both scenarios, the wastewater will make its way to a municipal water treatment facility for sanitation and purification before being made available for public use or discharge back into a local water source.

What is Wastewater?

Wastewater is the liquid left over from toilet flushing, bathing, dishwashing, laundry and other uses within your home or business. When not treated correctly, it can cause disease and infection. It is classified into two categories:

Black water is water from toilets and kitchen sinks – the water that is in the greatest need of sanitation and purification.

Gray water comes from laundry, showers, baths, washing machines and dishwashers. It can be classified as basically any water not coming from a toilet or kitchen sink.

Where Does Wastewater Come From?

Wastewater comes directly from homes and businesses. A water treatment plant then purifies and sanitizes the water for discharge by using the following steps:

  • Screening – separate trash and other debris from the water
  • Filtration – water collects in tanks or pools to give solid material the chance to float to the surface. This matter is then collected and disposed of. The water can then be filtered through sand to remove smaller solids, odors and bacteria.
  • Heat – the water is then heated to reduce methane and other bacteria
  • Sanitation – the water is treated with chemicals like chlorine to ensure all bacteria is eradicated.

The water is then safely discharged back into a local water source.

Maintaining Your Sewer Line

Call Roto-Rooter as soon as possible if you are need of sewer line repair. If your sewer line is backed up, it can lead to other problems in no time, including drain backups that can push wastewater into unwanted portion of your home. Typical sewer line clogs are caused by a buildup of debris over time. Clogs can also occur when tree roots have penetrated the walls of the pipe. If you suspect that wastewater has flooded any portion of your home – call us immediately and our water cleanup team can dry and sanitize the area before further damage occurs.

Our licensed and insured professionals will use state-of-the-art video cameras to conduct a video inspection of sewer lines and other underground pipes to locate areas of concern or the source of a clog. Call 1-800-GET-ROTO or schedule service online today!

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