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The difference between Sanitary Sewesr and Storm Sewers
Sanitary sewers collect and convey sewage to a treatment plant where the sewage can be treated. Sanitary sewers are a completely different set of pipes from storm drains and sewers.
In our area and most other areas, an independent system of pipes called storm drains is used to only transport storm water (i.e., rainwater) to streams, creeks, bays and the ocean with little or no treatment. The separate sanitary sewer system is sanitary because it keeps sewage out of the storm drains and sends the sewage to a treatment plant before it is released into the environment.
Some key points to remember are:
- Sanitary sewers have limited capacities and are not designed to dispose of storm water (i.e., rainwater) from your property.
- Storm drainage flows are generally not treated and therefore should not contain any pollutants that could affect our streams and ocean.
- Rubbish should not be thrown down sewers or storm drains. Because sewage is treated, sewers can handle sewage as well as certain types and limited amounts of "toxic" materials such as household cleaners.