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Glossary of Sewer Terms and Definitions


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Sanitary collection system
Network of pipes that conveys waste and wastewater from domestic sources to wastewater treatment plants. Also called "sewer system" or "collection system".

Sanitary sewage
Plumbing sewage from toilets, laundry, sinks, machines or dishwashers that is contaminated.

Sanitary sewer
A sewer system that only transports commercial or residential waste - also known as public sewer system.

Sanitary sewer
Network of pipes designed to convey waste water from domestic, business and industries to treatment plants.

Sanitary sewer lateral
A sewer pipe connecting a private house with the public sanitary system.

Floating grease, oil or other debris atop water.

A strip of material or board that is partially immersed in water that retains scum.

Blend of solid wastes, sludge, scum and liquids pumped from pump chambers, holding tanks and septic tanks.

Septic tank
A watertight treatment tank that takes in sewage from sewers and building sewer lines.

Septic vacuum truck
A vacuum truck that serves the septic industry. See also "vacuum trucks".

Runoff water or wastewater flowing through a sewage system to a wastewater treatment plant. Also called "wastewater".

Sewage tank
Watertight pump tank, septic tank, holding tank, recirculating filter tank or grease interceptor tank. Also tanks used in vacuum collection, transmission system and septic effluent pumping.

A sewer pipe or channel that serves more than one owner, that carries stormwater or wastewater.

Sewer backup
Sewage returning through sanitary sewer laterals from storm, sanitary or combined sewers, flooding homes through plumbing fixtures.

Sewer camera
see "inspection television equipment"


Sewer cleaning
see "pipe cleaning"

Sewer cleanout
see "cleanout port"

Sewer clogs
see "backup"

Sewer contractors
Person who plans, installs, and manages the installation and repair of building and sewer services.

Sewer drain cleaners
see "high pressure washer"

Sewer inspection camera
see "inspection television equipment"

Sewer inspector
Inspects the construction and installation of water and sewer lines.

Sewer jetter
See "high pressure washer"

Sewer line inspection
Process of pipe inspection that can be done by – visual inspection, smoke test or sewer inspection camera.

Sewer nozzles
A nozzle, mounted on a high pressure water jetter hose, with discharge jets forward and rearward to dislodge debris and sewer drain cleaning.

Sewer root
Any tree root that penetrates the sewer collection line.

Sewer section
The portion of sewer pipe between two manholes. Also called "manhole section"

Sewer system
see "sanitary collection system"

Sewer video inspection
see "inspection television equipment"

Smoke test
To locate sources of water infiltration, smoke is blown through sewer pipes.

A rigid cable that enter sewer pipes to clear blocked sewer lines. Also called "sewer cable".

Soap cake or soap buildup
Accumulation of detergents and grease in sewer systems causing reduced flow and a possibly clogged sewer.

Soil pollution
Leakage of raw wastewater around a leaking sewer pipe.

A situation where a sewer pipe is partially or completely blocked - also called a "blockage".

Storm collection system
A network of yard drains, catch basins, culverts,gutter and pipes that direct the flow of stormwater - this excludes residential and industrial waste water.

Storm runoff
Water, such as rain water that flows into lakes, rivers and streams. Also called "direct runoff".

Storm sewage
Comes from snow melt and rainfall but may be contaminated.

Storm sewer
A sewer system that only transports surface water, groundwater and rain.

Storm sewer lateral
A sewer pipe connecting a house with the municipal storm sewer system.

Storm water management
Municipal government is responsible for storm water management which manages underground and overland water flows.

Street sweepers
A machine that collects debris from solid surfaces by means of brushes, and or vacuum into a holding tank - used by cities and contractors to sweep streets, parking lots and runways.

Street sweeping
The act of removing debris from hard surfaces through manual or mechanical means. See also "street sweepers".

The connecting opening point from the sewer main to the building sewer lateral.

Suction excavator
see "vacuum excavators"

Suction pump
A mechanical pump that draws liquids through creation of vacuum via pistons.

When wastewater volume exceeds hydraulic sewer capacity. A water backup in the sewer pipe with insufficient capacity due to a blockage.

Surface water
Fresh or marine water found in natural or artificial ponds, lakes, ditches, streams, swamps, tidal waters, wetlands, rivers, canals or marshes.

A man-made ditch that conveys storm water flows.

see "street sweepers"


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