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Different Types of Drains and Sewers

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Different Types of Drains and Sewers

Our drains and sewers are in use all day, every day, all year round, However, unless something’s wrong with them, little thought is paid to the inner workings of our sewage system, despite the crucial role they play in our everyday lives. In this article, we’re going to look at the different types of drains and sewers and how they work. 



Different Sewer Materials 

Brick Sewers

Brick tends to be used for the construction of large sewers. Bricks can be assembled in any shape, which is why they were so popular in the past, but with the onset of different, quicker building methods, they’re not as widely implemented in modern times. 


Concrete Sewers

One of the sewer types that replaced brick sewers, concrete sewage systems are used for small storm drains. 


Asbestos Cement Sewers

Used for carrying domestic sewage, AC sewers are commonly used for carrying sewage from upper floors of a building. They’re light and easily fitted in comparison to concrete sewers. 


Cast Iron Sewers

Favoured for their strength and durability, cast iron sewers can take heavy loads. This makes them ideal for installation under busy roads and railway lines. 


Steel Sewers

In situations where the sewer needs to cross a river underwater, or under a railway line, steel sewers are ideal. They’re very strong, easy to install and pressure resistant.


Plastic Sewers

Corrosion resistant and very lightweight, plastic sewers are used for sanitary sewage. They can’t be used in areas with very high temperatures as they are likely to expand. 


Sewers with Different Functions

Combined Sewers

Combined sewers are sewers that deal with both storm runoff and wastewater – the storm runoff and the wastewater flow into the same pipe. In dry weather, as there is no storm runoff, the sewer only transports the wastewater, but in extremely wet conditions, a problem arises: the sewer ends up transporting unfiltered wastewater into rivers. The excessive amount of water means that the dam inside the sewer cannot stop all the wastewater passing through, thus some of it enters rivers. 


Storm Sewers

Storm sewers are specifically designed to carry rainwater; during excessive rainfall, the rain runs into a storm drain which then transports the water into streams, rivers and lakes. Water that flows through a storm sewer isn’t treated, so it’s important that hazardous waste is kept away from storm drains. If not, the waste will flow directly into whatever body of water the sewer leads to, which can in turn contaminate drinking water and endanger animals that live in or around the water. 


Sanitary Sewers

Sanitary sewers carry waste from homes and commercial buildings to sewage treatment plants. These sewers in particular play an absolutely crucial role in keeping us safe, as they are responsible for ensuring our water is treated and then recycled back into the environment. Waste from our homes travels down smaller pipes into the public sewer, which is a larger one under the road. It is then transported to a treatment plant, where all solids and contaminants are removed so the water is safe to be reintroduced into streams and rivers. 

The various types of sewers are utilised around the world, helping to keep our water supplies clean and ensuring the myriad of risks from contaminated water are minimised. 


1st Call Drain Clearance are a leading drainage and waste management company in Cambridge, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, London and the rest of the UK. We’re vastly experienced in sewer and drain pressure jetting, culvert cleaning and CCTV drainage inspections, plus a host of other services, working tirelessly to ensure a safe, long-lasting solution to any blocked sewers or drainage issues you may have. For more information, contact us today.  



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