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Sewer Management: How Underground Detectable Tapes Help

Sewer Management: How Underground Detectable Tapes Help
28/01/2022

Sewers are essential to modern life. From the time of the Ancient Roman aqueducts, running water and clean toilets have, to some degree, been the cornerstone of civilisation.

Despite their importance, few of us understand how they work; we run our taps and flush our toilets, none the wiser of how it all functions.

Understandably, waste management is complex due to the labyrinthine nature of sewers. To keep them organised, waste professionals rely on a high standard of processes and labels.

Below, we discuss the types of sewerage systems, where sewage goes and list the essential sewer signs and tapes.

How Do Sewers Work? Sewer systems have been around in Britain since 3200 BC. These have now vanished. However, some of our early modern sewer systems, since around the 1500s, still exist in some fashion.

However, Britain’s current sewers were redeveloped in the 1800s and have grown since.

These days, a sewer system consists of several parts:

Roof drain Foundation drain Sanitary sewer lateral drain Access manhole Sanitary sewer Catch basin Typically, the roof drain or sanitary sewer drain collects waste. Waste is then ushered down the sanitary sewer lateral or foundation drain to the waste treatment plant.

The catch basin collects water, while the access manhole is for maintenance.

What Are The Types of Sewerage Systems? It turns out not all sewers are made equal. There are, in fact, several types of sewers, namely:

Sanitary sewers – built for carrying sewage from one place to another. Surface water sewer – used to drain excess moisture from surfaces and the ground. Effluent sewer – carries both water and sewage. These aren’t as common anymore, as they carry the risk of flooding and water pollution. Storm sewer – used to prevent flooding by carrying water from excess rainfall, snowfall and/or irrigation. Separate sewer – for surface water or sewage. Within these sewers, there are three common designs:

Gravity sewer – uses elevation to facilitate movement. Vacuum sewer – uses atmospheric pressure to move sewage along. Force sewer – uses a series of pumps to create movement. A mix is used depending on where the sewer is. For example, at altitude, a gravity sewer is preferable, while places at sea level would likely use a vacuum or force design.

Many ask “how does a city sewer system work?” and this varies depending on the city. As mentioned, a city at high altitude will use gravity sewers, while cities at sea level would use a different system.

How Does Sewage Treatment Work? Sewage needs treatment before it’s disposed of; you can’t just dump raw sewage in the ocean and hope for the best.

The sewage treatment process works as follows:

Wastewater is taken away down the drain - The first step of sewage treatment begins whenever you flush a toilet, pull a plug or run a tap. The wastewater is screened - This involves removing large objects from wastewater, which are items that are incorrectly flushed. Wet wipes, cotton buds and other sanitary items are common. Primary treatment is carried out - This separates waste from water in specialised tanks, where solids sink to the bottom. Secondary treatment is carried out - Solid waste is removed, and the rest of the dirty water enters a second chamber. Here, “good” bacteria is added to eat away at the “bad” bacteria and pathogens left over. Final treatment is carried out - Here, the “good” bacteria is filtered out of the remaining liquid, and clean water is recycled. Water is filtered through a final bed of sand, before it heads to the water treatment process. So, where does sewage go? After that stage, clean water is returned to rivers and oceans. The separated solid is used for a few useful processes, namely creating biogas and thermal destruction, which creates heat energy that water treatment facilities recycle into electricity.

How Does Detectable Warning Tape Play A Role? So, where does detectable warning tape come into this process?

As you well know, the underground is dark. For that reason, it’s important that maintenance staff know what each pipe, valve and cable does.

Detectable warning tape clearly states the type of valve or cable with an appropriate colour. These colours are very bright, so staff can quickly identify them.

We have discussed the role of detectable warning tape in our blog: Detectable Warning Tape: How Does It Differ From Other Tapes?

These tapes prevent costly injuries and errors occurring. For example, you don’t want a maintenance professional to accidentally cut through a live water pipe, as this can cause long-term damage to the sewer system.

Discover Practical, Versatile Detectable Warning Tapes At Label Source, we stock a range of detectable warning tapes suitable for applications, including waste management and sewer systems.

If you work in waste management, then our selection of tapes could have something that makes your job easier.

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