Sewer systems in Evanston might seem disgusting, but they’re an essential part of all home and commercial plumbing systems. If it weren’t for the sewage system, there would be no safe way for wastewater to travel. To help you understand how to care for your sewer system, you should know more about the types of home sewer systems. Your knowledge could keep you from needing a sewer repair or replacement. 

Traditional Sewage System

Many homeowners have a traditional sewer system. This system involves a series of pipes that connect to an external sewer system. The water from your drains travels into a sewer line, and that sewer line then takes it to a sanitary sewer system.

Typically, the sewer system is owned by your city or county. Once the wastewater is in the main sewer system, it moves into a wastewater treatment plant. Here’s a closer look at the other types of sewer systems outside of your property line:


Sanitary Sewer System

A sanitary sewer system has the purpose of taking waste away from homes and businesses. After traveling through a system of pipes, the waste goes to a wastewater treatment plant. Designed to handle human waste, this type of system keeps the toxic materials from posing a hazard and allows for the movement of toilet paper and waste.

Generally, sanitary sewer systems have miles of piping, along with manholes scattered along the route of the pipes. The manholes give people access to the pipes if there is a need for maintenance or repair. To keep the waste moving along, there are pumping stations along the pipeline. 

How It Works

It all starts with you flushing the toilet. After you flush your waste, it travels out of your home via a sewer line. Eventually, the line connects with bigger pipes, which are the main sewer line in the street. The wastewater then travels to a treatment plant, where it goes through a lengthy process.

At the wastewater treatment plant, the waste and bacteria are removed from the water. The water returns to the environment after the purification process, and it no longer poses a threat to the environment. 

Storm Sewer System

If you hear someone refer to a surface or runoff sewer, they’re talking about a storm sewer. This type of system collects rainwater and irrigation water and then transports it to a body of water. Usually, the system collects water from drains located in parking lots, gutters, and streets. 

Underground pipes transport the water to the destination. Depending on your location, the water could release into a river, leak, or another water source. There is no need for anyone to treat this water because it comes straight from the environment. Unlike your wastewater in a sanitary sewer system, the water in a storm sewer system is safe. 

If it weren’t for storm sewers, most roadways would experience major flooding. Even a small rainfall could result in the flooding of a road, parking lot, or home. This makes the storm sewer system a crucial part of any city or town’s infrastructure. 

Combined Sewer System

As you might expect, this type of sewer system is a combination of a sanitary sewer system and a storm sewer system. Years ago, these systems were common. Today, most municipalities don’t use combined sewer systems because they pose a health risk to people and a danger to the environment. 

These systems collect water from rain and snow and then connect them with pipes containing human waste. In theory, this system should be safe. The system pumps the wastes to a treatment plant, where the water is purified and safe for everyone. However, this system doesn’t always work as it should.

The main issue with a combined sewer system is the risk of a backup. When the rain doesn’t stop, the pipes have the potential to overflow. The untreated wastewater could back up into the environment, and in doing so, releases pathogens and pollutants. 

Septic System

Another home sewer system is the septic system. In this system, the wastewater goes into an underground treatment structure. Although you can find this method anywhere, it is most common in rural areas with no central sewer system. As a neighborhood develops, the infrastructure for wastewater grows. People often switch over and connect with the main sewer system. 

If you have a septic system, it uses technology and biology to treat the wastewater from your home. There are two simple components that accomplish this – a septic tank and a drain field or soil absorption field. 

How it Works

Inside the septic tank, bacteria work hard to digest the organic matter at the bottom of the tank. Floating material, like oil and grease, separate from the solids. The remaining liquid can move on. If you have a soil-based system, the liquid travels from the septic tank to perforated pipes. The system slowly distributes the liquid to the soil.

Other septic systems use gravity or pumps to move effluent through sand, peat, or other forms of media. The process neutralizes pathogens and harmful elements. If the septic system didn’t utilize this process, nitrogen and phosphorus would leech into the environment and cause trouble. Furthermore, the bacteria in your waste would affect your health. 

A septic tank sits under the ground. As a watertight container, your septic system doesn’t allow any water or waste to exit the tank. Usually, the septic tank is made of concrete, polyethylene, or fiberglass. It has various compartments and an outlet to prevent scum from leaving the system. 

Why Your Type of Sewer System Matters

Do you really need to know about your type of Evanston sewer system? If you have a septic system, there are certain maintenance practices you should do. The same is true for any other waste system. And if you don’t care for your system properly, you could need a sewer line replacement. 

Here at J. Blanton Plumbing, we want to keep your sewer system working well. If you need a sewer repair or need routine maintenance, give us a call. Someone can help you today. (773) 724-9272