How Does a Wastewater Collection System Work?

Wastewater collection systems are designed and built to collect and convey wastewater from homes, businesses and industries. Water carries waste as dissolved material and suspended solids. In order to properly convey wastewater, the collection system must be designed and constructed to provide a water velocity of near 2.5 feet per second. Velocities which are either too high or too low can be detrimental to the operation and maintenance of the collection system. The wastewater collection system conveys the wastewater and solids to a treatment plant where the pollutants are removed before the water is discharged to a body of water.

In most cases the wastewater collection system conveys wastewater by gravity utilizing the natural slope of the land. This is why water quality treatment centers are generally located in a low area near the receiving body of water. When the topography is such that wastewater cannot flow all the way to the treatment plant by gravity sanitary lift or pump stations are required to raise the wastewater from a low point to a higher point so it can return to gravity flow. It can require numerous lift stations to transport wastewater to the treatment plant in areas with hilly or rolling topography, and the greater the distance that wastewater must be conveyed to a treatment plant the greater the likelihood of several lift stations being required to get the wastewater there.

Components of a Wastewater Collection System