What to know about foul and surface water drainage systems

Where does water go when it leaves your premises? You might think it all ends up in the sewer, but that’s not necessarily the case. It’s important to understand the difference between foul water and surface water, and the drainage systems that carry both.

Let’s start with two simple definitions:

  • Foul water is wastewater from kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms. It may be contaminated by human waste, soap, laundry detergent and other materials.
  • Surface water is rain that falls on your premises and drains away, including run-off from flat surfaces like car parks, paths and driveways, as well as water collected by gutters and drainpipes.

Surface water is usually relatively clean, and there’s no reason why it can’t be released into a nearby stream or river to reduce pressure on the sewer system.

The difference between foul and surface water is quite obvious – and there should be big differences in the way foul and surface water drainage systems deal with them too.

 

What’s the difference between foul and surface water drainage systems?

We’ve already mentioned that surface water is safe to release into a local waterway, whereas foul water should only be released into the sewers, where it can be transported to a nearby sewage treatment facility.

The two types of water should be kept completely separate at all times, so the difference between foul and surface water drainage systems is that they are essentially two completely separate pipelines from your premises to the appropriate destination.

Foul water is also generated in specific places: a kitchen, a bathroom or a utility room in most cases. You know where it is coming from and can run a pipeline accordingly.

Surface water is a little more complex. It falls uniformly across your premises, including your rooftops, hard standings and grassy areas.

While some can be left to soak away naturally, surface water drainage systems include ways to collect the water into one place, such as gutters, drainpipes and floor-level gulleys.

 

Call in the experts

If you need work carrying out on your foul and surface water drainage systems, it’s best left to the experts, to make sure your foul water drainage does not contaminate your surface water run-off.

Call hebs Flowtech on 0151 2360707 for all drainage services. We can fix blocked drains and broken pipes, as well as many more tasks, and we’ll clean up after ourselves when we’re done. Whatever you’re facing, we’re here to help.

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