Fats, oils and grease, also known as FOG, is one of the most harmful types of waste flushed down the drain. The primary source of FOG is cooking and food preparation, and while residential homes are significant contributors, commercial restaurants and manufacturing plants are actually the biggest source. Most restaurants produce FOG constantly due the nature of their work. While many dispose of it properly via a trash can or recycling program, FOG still makes its way down into the sewers at an alarming rate.
When your primary focus is sewer inspections, it’s easy to lose sight of wastewater’s intended destination: a treatment plant. Wastewater treatment is the process of removing organic and inorganic matter, chemicals and other pollutants from water, ensuring it is clean and safe for discharge into the local environment.
Sewer systems require regular inspections and maintenance to ensure they function at peak efficiency. But who is actually responsible for the labor involved in sewer upkeep?
The collection and transportation of wastewater to treatment plants is an essential task of public infrastructure, but what exactly is wastewater? In the broadest sense, wastewater is any water that has been put through residential, commercial or industrial use. But depending on the surrounding environment, wastewater may include any varieties of runoff that finds its way into sewer mains, and when mixed with the endless variety of human, animal and industrial waste produced by local residents and businesses, the result is a potentially toxic concoction that has as much potential to harm the local environment as it does to be cleaned and made into new drinking water.
Wastewater systems allow communities around the world to manage wastewater and keep public areas clean, healthy and habitable. Sewer pipes, the conduits for the removal of waste, are the most fundamental piece of this essential infrastructure.
Sewers are designed to endure a lot: collecting, transporting, sorting and processing human waste, debris, normal flow and, in some cases, rainwater and runoff. But they can only withstand so much over a period of time before they begin to break down. General wear-and-tear is one of the leading causes of sewer damage, but there are other common contributors, too.
Wastewater asset management is a practice many operators use to develop long-term plans for sustaining wastewater systems and services.
A sewer lateral is the pipe connecting a home or business’ plumbing to the city’s sanitary sewer system. These pipes typically run underneath the house or business’ property before connecting with a larger pipe, called a sewer main, under the street or other nearby area.
A sewer rehabilitation plan identifies the work needed on a sewer system and outlines a strategy for how the work is to be completed. While putting a plan together can be time-consuming, it offers a great return on investment, ultimately saving a department time and resources.
The “cloud” refers to applications that run on the internet, instead of on a local computer or piece of equipment. Essentially, when something is running on the cloud it is stored on a remote server (usually multiple copies at multiple locations, actually).