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Glossary of Sewer Terms and Definitions


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Trenching machine
Mechanical device that digs into soil creating narrow trenches to lay pipe or cables.

Trenchless sewer repair
Process of subsurface pipe replacement, rehabilitation or a new installation with the least amount of trenches and environmental disruption.


The abnormal change in the composition of microorganisms within a water treatment plant.

United States Environmental Protection Agency – go to




Vac trailer
Tanks mounted on a trailer that may be certified to handle hazardous or non-hazardous waste.

Tool that cleans out debris from manholes after a sewer pipe cleaning operation.

Vacuum excavation
A method of soil extraction by vacuum hose and holding tank and soil loosening by either high pressure water or air hand lance.

Vacuum excavators
Powered truck or trailer mounted vacuum tank with an extended vacuum hose and hand lance for soil loosening using high pressure water or air. Also called "hydro excavator", "hydro vac", "suction excavator".

Vacuum pumping
Method by which a mechanical vacuum pump removes gases from a sealed vacuum tank, creating vacuum pressure to lift liquids or semi-solids.

Vacuum truck loader
Mechanical vacuum pump that transfers/loads materials and liquids either into or from a holding tank via vacuum hoses.

Vacuum trucks
A pressurized air tight holding tank mounted on a truck chassis configured to collect, hold or transfer liquids, semi-solids or materials. Also called "industrial vacuum trucks".

Video log
Data storage device such as a tape or memory card from sewer inspection camera operations.




Waste management
The collection, transportation, processing and disposal of sewage.

Wastewater collection system
Network of pipes that convey water and waste water from residential and industrial sources to treatment plants.

Water jetter
Very high water pressure machine for cleaning surfaces.

Water table
The level below which the ground is saturated with water.

Weeping tile
Perforated pipe for tiles along the foot of foundations that directs groundwater away.



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