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Glossary of Sewer Terms and Definitions


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Intake of pesticide by soil, animals, humans, plants.

Active ingredient
Chemical ingredient that is the pesticidal.

Air blower
A fan that ventilates lift stations and manholes.

Sand or sediments that were eroded, shaped or transported by water and re-deposited on land.

Anti-siphoning device
see "backflow preventer"

A tool that cuts through clogged sewer debris in pipes and returns debris back to the operator.

American Water Works Association



Soil that is placed to fill up after trenching and excavation, as in pipe laying.

Backflow preventer
A device that prevents contaminated or polluted water from siphoning back to the main water supply. Also called an "anti-siphoning device".

Backflow valve
A valve that protects water supplies from pollution or contamination,as in a municipal sewer backing up  into residential basements.

Process of pipe cleaning with high pressure water to remove debris and open a blocked sewer - also known as "flushing".

Excavation machine that uses a boom mounted bucket to remove soil.

An accumulation or overflow of water due to a blocked sewer. Also called "sewer clogs".

A fully or partially blocked sewer resulting in an overflow.

A fan to ventilate lift stations or manholes.

Branch sewer
A main sewer pipe that receives small flows from smaller pipes.

Broken section
A fracture in  a sewer pipe along its main continuous section, not at the joints.

Bucket machine
A machine that winches a bucket to clean sewers.

Bucketing out
Process by which a bucket or pail is used to remove accumulated debris in a manhole for catch basin cleaning.

Building sewer
Known also as "lateral sewer", the pipe section between the collector sewer and the building foundation.

Building sewer
Gravity flow pipe system, also known as a service connection, house sewer, or house connection. Drainage system extending from the building drain which collects sewage from all drainage pipes inside the building. It begins to feed outside the building wall and conveys sewage from the building drain to the sewage system.

A device such as a pipe, gate, trench or valve that redirects wastewater all or partially from its usual flow – usually for maintenance purposes.

Bypass pumping
To reroute wastewater around a sewer section by pumping action.


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