- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 08 Jul 2019
Sewerage (the sewer system), is the underground networks of pipes that carries sewage (waste water and excrement), waste water and surface water run-off, from buildings to treatment facilities or disposal points.
Types of sewer include:
- Sanitary sewer: Used solely for carrying sewage.
- Surface water sewer: Used to drain groundwater and excess water from impervious surfaces.
- Combined sewer: Used to carry both sewage and surface water. This type of sewer can lead to water pollution problems when overflow conditions are experienced.
- Effluent sewer (sometimes referred to as Septic Tank Effluent Drainage (STED) or Solids-Free Sewers (SFS)) : These collect remaining sewage from septic tanks and carry it to a treatment plant.
There are a number of ways of moving the contents of sewers:
- Gravity sewers use differing elevations to facilitate movement.
- Force mains use pumps where sewers are at a lower elevation than the destination.
- Vacuum sewers use differential atmospheric pressure.
In September 2010, the government announced that most private sewers that connected to the public sewer network would be transferred to the ownership of the regulated sewerage companies in England and Wales. Private sewers that were connected to the public sewer network before 1 July 2011 were transferred on 1 October 2011.
NB A drain is a pipe that serves only one building, conveying water and waste water to a sewer. A lateral drain is a section of drain positioned outside the boundary of a building, connecting with the drains from other buildings to become a sewer.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Are sustainable urban drainage systems the response to our changing climate?
- Civil Engineering during the Industrial Revolution in Britain.
- Difference between drains and sewers.
- Grease management.
- Groundwater control in urban areas.
- Private sewer.
- Public sewer.
- Safe working in drains and sewers.
- Sanitary pipework.
- Section 102 existing sewer adoption.
- Section 104 new sewer adoption.
- Septic tank.
- Sewer construction.
- Sustainable urban drainage systems SUDS.
- Waste water.
- Water transfers and interconnections.
Featured articles and news
We have a great range of introductory articles written by ECA.
7 of the most common myths, busted.
Consider a career in the electrotechnical industry.
Exploring local assets of community significance. Book review.
Wood-burning stoves should not be used in thatch-roofed buildings.
Servitisation, smart systems and connectivity.
What happens to the Construction Products Regulation if there is no Brexit deal.
The first step to long-term prosperity.
The status and rights of employees in construction
Continuing to share environmental best practice.
The employee assistance programme EAP.