Practitioner's Tool / Sewers Comparison

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Appropriate Use

Relative Cost
Operations and Maintenance


Sewers for Buildings

To transport wastewater from buildings to the treatment system
Generally low but can increase based on length of pipes, soils, and topography.  Cost can be minimized by placing treatment as close to buildings as possible

Low for gravity sewers

Moderate for pressurized systems

High - Effective when designed and installed properly

Settled Sewers

Small to moderately-sized communities.  Uses smaller pipes and can accommodate variable flows
Moderate for the sewer pipes

High when considering the cost of septic or settling tanks at each building.

Low for the sewers

High for the septic tanks when considering the required desludging.

High when community programs for desludging are provided

Condominial Sewer

Small to medium-sized communities
Low - Allows sharing of sewer laterals, which reduces cost
Low when communities are responsible for maintaining their own laterals, as they are more careful to operate properly
High when strong community participation and bottom-up planning is provided

Combined wet.jpg
Combined Sewers

Larger communities
Moderate – groundwater, poor soils and variable slopes increase costs
Low - Periodic declogging is generally required
Moderate – Generally effective at moving waste away from population centers

Pressure Sewer Pumps

When variable slopes or distances will not allow gravity systems
High - Pump tanks, pump equipment, and the cost of electricity adds to cost
Moderate - Pump systems are generally reliable, but trash traps and screens often require continuous maintenance
High - When installed and operated properly