The Importance of Sewers for Office Buildings

Generally, sewers are underground chambers where wastewater and human wastes are decomposed by microorganisms. Also, your building’s sewage system must conform to its urban infrastructural plan. It’s the microbial action in sewer chambers that produces greenhouse gasses, offensive odor, wear, and tear. However, the use of sewers for the residential and commercial building has some advantages. Let’s see the benefits that come with having sewers connected to your buildings.

Soil Amendment

Soil amendment is the process of adding treated sludge (from biofilms in sewers) to the soil. The installation of functional sewage systems promotes the availability of useful sludges at wastewater treatment plants. Instead of discharging sludges from plants as waste products, water is extracted from them, and dry sludges are used for agricultural purposes. Much like how renewable energy is produced, this process aims to produce as little waste as possible and reuse all of its components.

It Creates an Ecosystem for Efficient Sewer Networks

The activity of microorganisms helps to decompose solid wastes from our toilets. This disintegration process is important for maintaining efficient sewer networks. Biofilm is an ecosystem of microorganisms that are attached to the surface of sewers. It’s a sticky layer of complex polymers, and micro-colonies that produce oxygen, and water within the septic chamber. They also act as the natural unblocker of the drain; reducing and preventing massive build ups of waste.

Water Conservation

Wastewater is water that has been used, and sewers send wastewater to treatment plants for reuse. As a basic infrastructure for buildings, sewers are good sources for agricultural irrigation. It’s the first place where the processing of wastewater occurs. Usually, effluent is treated during the final stage (tertiary treatment) of filtration at wastewater treatment plants. It’s a way of conserving potable water and using treated wastewater to grow crops.

Enhanced Standard of Living

When the quality of air is compromised, residents of private buildings and workers are at risk of different airborne diseases. A functional sewerage system enhances the standard of living. Also, sewers create environmental protection for the current inhabitants of the earth and unborn generations.

Environmental Sanitation Standards

City planners and urban planning regulators insist on specific building standards that include the proper location of sewers. Proper sanitation is essential for communal living, and it ensures that decomposable matter is stored appropriately. Without sewers, disposal of human wastes will constitute a nuisance in any environment. Also, maintaining environmental standards as well as regular sewer checks for any blockage or damage can mitigate health risks.

Corrosion Control

For corrosion of metals to occur, air and water must be present around the object. Usually, home and commercial buildings are designed with corrosive materials. Apart from long-term degradation of metals at dumpsites and landfills, there’s no benefit of corrosion.  Generally, corrosion increases the cost of maintenance by causing wear and tear. Without containing decomposable matters in the sewers, biofilms will disperse hydrogen sulfide and corrosive gases into the atmosphere readily. 

Since hydrogen sulfide gas contains an element of water, it affects the surfaces of concrete sewers. This degradation of sewer concrete surfaces occurs because they trap this hydrogen sulfide during evaporation. However, the high acidic content in Hydrogen sulfide gas will degrade the concrete surfaces of sewers. So, the moist surfaces of sewers help to control the concentration of corrosive elements in the atmosphere.

Provision of Usable Water

You can reuse treated effluent from sewers and wastewater treatment plants. However, the contaminated water must be free from phosphorous and ammoniacal nitrogen that comes from biofilms. Also, the effluents from treatment plants can be discharged to the environment for safe use. Generally, the effluent from tertiary treatment phases is used as potable water. Wastewater treatment plant reduces the risk of unsustainable water supply to the Earth’s rising population. Also, treated water from the final stage of filtration can mitigate the fear of droughts. Since the treated water has passed through a de-nitrifying process, wastewater plants can guarantee the supply of usable water in all kinds of environments, from private houses to commercial buildings such as the formal venues in Melbourne.

How Sewer Blockages Happen

Now, the consequences of a blocked sewer are quite severe as it affects different buildings that uses the same line. When the main sewer line is clogged, its content and other flushed items are returned through your home’s drains, and pipes. This failure of drainage channels is one of the worst nightmares that homeowners experience sometimes. You might get the best drainage contractor to resolve these issues. However, a sewer line collapse will need complete overhauling or replacement. These are some causes and solutions to sewer blockages.

Conduct Integrity Tests

Before any installation of drainage lines or sewer projects, the integrity of pipes is important for quality assessment purposes. It will require a pre-installation test to know the strength of any sewer pipe’s material. Don’t forget that old sewer lines were made from porous materials, and were designed to last many decades. However, modern sewer line models that are PVC pipes should be subjected to similar integrity test to determine their materials’ strength. 

Tree Root Intrusion

Naturally, sewer lines are prime targets for plants. When the blockage is caused by tree root infiltration, the devastating effect might cause a replacement. To be noted is that this is less about failures in infrastructure construction than it is about the inevitable damage by nature. Mature roots of trees often move close to sources of water for survival.  It’s better to prevent the damage that tree roots can have on sewer systems than investing in costly repairs. The most effective step is to avoid planting trees too close to sewer lines because plants have a gravitational affinity to water. Additionally, some plants often damage sewer lines include Evergreen Spindle Tree, Pagoda Tree, Prickly Paperbark, and Water Bush (Banksia occidentalis).

Corrosion

Corrosion causes severe pipe damage and compromises the integrity of sewer lines. When PVC pipes come in contact with underground metals that are corroded, the integrity of these channels degrades gradually. This corrosive tendency on sewer pipes could trigger some ruptures in the long run. Also, it will trigger failures until there’s a temporary there’s a sewer system backup. Generally, older pipes tend to rupture more often than new installations. When they become corroded, the first sign will be seen around sections of joint pipes. Usually, PVC sewer pipes are sealed with metallic rings. 

Undissolved Solid Wastes

Homeowners and occupants of residential building often make the error of flushing solid materials like baby diapers, tampons, and household waste through toilet drains. Your sewer line might fail because of these piles of sludge and solid wastes impede the flow of wastewater. 

An Imbalance in Sewer Lines

The continuous traffic from heavy earth-moving construction equipment on the ground above sewer pipes can cause them to sag. As pressure from the construction of buildings, especially the larger ones such as the Docklands stadium in Melbourne, buildups on the surface of sewer pipes, their ‘bellied’ portion will inhibit free-flowing sewer. Naturally, undulating topographies of soil can cause blockages in the low spots of sewer pipes. Also, the shifting soil might create an imbalance in sewer lines that require the attention of plumbing and drainage specialists.

Grease Can Cause Blockage

Oil and grease can buildup along the channels of your kitchen sink and increase your maintenance costs. When grease becomes hard inside kitchen pipes, it might affect the fittings and sewer. Also, coagulated grease can clog underground sewage tanks with depths of at least 25 feet. However, homeowners can prevent these problems by using proper garbage disposal bins for food-based oil and fat. Additionally, hot water can dissolve and flush the fat from meat, mayonnaise, and cooking oil, inside your kitchen sink’s drain.

Poor Maintenance of Sewer Pipes

Residential sewage lines and public sewer lines are designed for periodic maintenance. However, prevention of blockages remains the best maintenance technique that ensures the lifespan of functional drains. When there’s a poor maintenance culture, the severity of blockages might require an expensive replacement of sewer connection drains.

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