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What are the disadvantages of having separate storm drains and sewers?

Do you know the difference between storm drains and sewers? While both play an important role in managing water, separating these systems can have negative consequences. Here’s what you need to know.

Home drainage system drawing

Storm drains vs. sewers

Storm drains are designed to prevent flooding by carrying rainwater away from streets and directing it to nearby bodies of water. On the other hand, sewers transport wastewater from homes and businesses to treatment facilities to remove pollutants and contaminants before the water is released into the environment.


Disadvantages of separate systems

Separating storm drains and sewers can lead to a multitude of difficulties, including:


·       Water pollution. Stormwater often contains pollutants, such as oil and grease, pesticides and other harmful chemicals from streets, rooftops and industrial sites. If this water doesn’t go through a sewer line, it’s discharged directly into rivers and lakes without undergoing treatment. This can lead to serious water pollution problems, affecting aquatic life and the environment.


·       Space concerns. Creating separate storm drain and sewer systems requires a lot of space, which can be a significant challenge in urban areas where space is limited.


·       Regulatory challenges. Meeting stringent environmental standards can be more difficult with two separate systems. Compliance with regulations can also require regular testing, monitoring and reporting, which can be time-consuming and expensive.


·       Maintenance difficulties. Having two separate systems to service and maintain can result in increased costs and logistical challenges. Plus, maintenance crews must be specially trained to handle each system, which can be a major headache when maintaining them and can lead to delays and disruptions when repairs are needed.


Innovative solutions

While upgrading to an integrated stormwater and sewer system is the best solution for minimizing the risk of flooding and tackling water pollution head-on, green infrastructure and low-impact development techniques are gaining momentum.


Solutions like permeable pavements, green roofs, rain gardens and bioswale not only address the challenges posed by separate storm drains and sewers but also enhance water management sustainability. For instance, permeable pavements allow water to seep through the pavement, reducing runoff and replenishing groundwater.


The skilled plumbers at The Drain Doctor™ can develop the best water management solution for your home or business.


Storm water and sewer drainage solutions in Calgary 

If you’re experiencing issues with a blocked stormwater drain or sewer around your home or business, turn to the experts at The Drain Doctor™. We offer residential and commercial building plumbing services and professional cleaning of storm and sewer drains for customers in and around Calgary. Our fleet of trucks is always ready to help you. Contact us today to learn more about our services.


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