While the average person does not consider on a daily basis the sewers that connect his or her home to the area’s water supply, sewers are a main part of a house’s foundation. Poor maintenance of a home’s sewers can lead to serious problems and cause damage to your house and your health. For thousands of years, sewers have been constructed and maintained to provide safe water to you and your family. Knowing a little of the history as well as the main parts of a sewer system can help keep your family safe.

History of Sewers

A little history behind sewers can reveal just how important it is to maintain your home’s sewers in great condition. Experts estimate that the first sewage systems may date as far back as 4000 B.C. Ancient Greek civilizations were advanced enough to know that outbreaks of diseases and sicknesses could be diminished by managing waste in a safe and effective way.

Years ago, the disposal of waste took place by emptying chamber pots into the streets. This of course contributed to diseases like the bubonic plague that easily spread throughout entire households, cities, and eventually throughout the world. In the United States, cities and municipalities started taking over sewer systems in the 19th century to ensure certain regulations would be met. Catch basins enabled water from a source to go into nearby bodies of water. Odors and poor functioning led to the invention of lateral culverts on each street that collected every house’s wastes by underground channels. In 1884, the first sewage pumping system was constructed in Boston. The culverts and Boston’s model for a steam-based pumping system laid the foundation for the modern American sewer.

Types of Sewers

Today, there are two types of sewers: storm sewers and sanitary sewers. Storm sewers take care of rain and storm water from both street drains and house gutters. A sanitary sewer deals with waste and is connected to each house’s toilets, tubs, showers, sinks, and other appliances like a laundry basin. A sanitary sewer carries waste to a waste treatment plant.

Sewer Terminology of the Home

Sewage experts use certain words and expressions to describe the sewers. An upper lateral pipe connects to a sewer main, which is a large pipe that runs under your house. Waste is transported through the upper lateral pipe and goes across the property line into the lower lateral, finally going into the sewer main. Homeowners are usually responsible for the upper lateral, but it’s best to check with your city or local municipality to ensure that you respect the regulations that may exist.

About Green Plumbing Solutions

Green Plumbing Solutions provides sewer repair and plumbing services to Denver, Highlands Ranch, Aurora and the surrounding areas. Green Plumbing Solutions is a licensed contractor and a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

With Green Plumbing Solutions, the estimate is always free and there is no travel charge. And you approve the estimate before any work is started.