Do storm water drains and sewer drains connect to each other under ground?  Probably one of the biggest myths amongst the public is that storm water and sewer drains all run into the same pipe under ground and when ever we have a huge storm everyone’s sewer drains clog.  If your sewer drain does happen to back up at the same time as a severe weather storm the chances are its just a coincidence, unless something un toward is going on at your property.

Should Be Separate Pipe Systems

Technically speaking your storm water and sewer drains are meant to run in separate pipe systems, but occasionally you will come across a situation where a storm water pipe is connected to a sewer drain (very bad practice, not to mention illegal).

There are many ways to establish if someone has done the wrong thing at your home and connected your storm water drains to your sewer pipes:
  • Have your sewer and storm water drains inspected with CCTV Camera systems, this will identify if any pipes are not going into the right drain line and correct direction.
  • Perform a flow test with drain dye, by using drain dye you will be able to see if the coloured water tipped into the storm water drain enters the sewer connection near the government connection point at the foot path or exits at the curb level via the storm water outlet.
  • Do a visual check around the property and identify where your drain lines are installed.
  • Reference as installed plans for your home and check that the plans are accurate to what you have installed at your house or property.
  • Engage the services of a reputable Adelaide Plumber.

Why Sewer and Storm Water Systems Should Not Be Connected

It is important that your storm water and sewer drain pipes are not interconnected in any way, there are numerous reasons for this and they are as follows:
  • Sewer gases escaping through to atmosphere.
  • Breeding of diseases laying wet storm water systems.
  • Bacteria coming up through storm water sumps around the property.
  • Increased load being placed on our resources during storm periods.
  • The creation of problems for plumbers when they attend your property to un block your drain lines.
  • Sewerage escaping out to the main roads and exposing the public to effluent.
  • Its against the law “illegal”.
These days its becoming more un common to find a situation where the sewer and storm water systems are interconnected, BUT that’s not to say that there aren’t some circumstances where it is still occurring on properties throughout South Australia.

At Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting we always advise that if you have suspicions about the installation of your drainage systems around your home always engage the services of a licensed master plumber and have your drains inspected thoroughly giving you the piece of mind that one day you wont have a disaster on your hands.
contaminated storm water
What can happen when storm water and sewer drains mix, contaminated water ways

Aaron Stewart

Aaron Stewart is the found and owner operated of Mayfair Plumbing & Gasfitting based in Adelaide, South Australia.

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