Storm Sewer

Published: October 31, 2017 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Storm Sewer Mean?

Storm sewers are drains that carry surface water runoff from rain, melting snow, and overflow from lawn water. These sewers convey this runoff to water bodies such as catch basins, rivers and lakes. A storm sewer's components include the above-ground drain that is usually found at street-level, just below the sidewalk line, and the reservoir piping/tunneling beneath it that carries the water elsewhere.

Storm sewers are different from sanitary sewers, and the two should never be confused. Discharging sanitary waste into a storm sewer can lead to contamination of fresh water bodies in the neighborhood, which can then become a source of disease and environmental pollution.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Storm Sewer

New storm sewer systems are now designed to carry the runoff to storm water management lakes. Here, the quality of the water is improved by allowing the settlement of dirt and other material that may be present in the water before it is discharged. Storm sewers are essential because they act as a drainage systems for roads, relieving the possibility of flooding from rain, monsoons and general storms.

Hazardous substances, chemicals, motor oil, paints, cleaners etc. should not be allowed to drain into a storm sewer, as it can kill delicate aquatic life at the point of discharge. In addition to these, leaves, grass clippings and organic waste should not be thrown into storm sewers as they can clog the flow of the storm sewer and can become a source of flooding during storms.


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