A sewer line and a water line although might sound as if they are the same, they’re actually quite different in more ways than one. If you don’t know the difference between the two, follow along! You might learn more than you think about the differences between the two.
What is a Sewer Line?
A sewer line is used to dispose of waste so it can be carried elsewhere to either be treated or disposed of properly. Sewer lines disposed of solid waste as well as greywater waste. This can either be taken to a sewage treatment plant or through your septic system.
You might still be wondering what greywater waste is. Greywater is any water that has been used that has never been touched by human waste. This includes water from your washing machine, dirty dishwater, water from your laundry room sink, etc.
It is also common to see sewer lines made out of almost any type of pipe material that there is.
What is a Water Line?
Water lines are much different from sewer lines. These lines are the ones that allow you to have access to clean water in your home or any building. This could be from a private well or it could be from your city. You can typically find your water meter where the water enters the building.
The reason why it’s so important to keep these two lines separate is to prevent cross-contamination of the building’s water supply. Otherwise, this would affect the health of everyone around.
As far as material for the piping goes for water lines, you can use the same material that would be used for a sewer line. The only kind of material that is off limits for water lines is anything that contains lead or any other harmful substances. This is why it is so important to make sure that only licensed plumbers are doing this kind of work when it comes to installing water lines.
What if Water and Sewer Lines Cross?
Good question. There are some strict rules on this if this does end up being the case. First, when a potable water line crosses a sewer line, it should have at least 2 feet of clearance from the other. If the sewer line is below the water line, no worries here because there are no special requirements needed here.
Lastly, if the water and sewer lines cross and the vertical separation of the lines is less than two feet, then you will have to install a 6-inch concrete encasement of the sewer line with a 10 foot requirement on each side of the crossing.
While this may seem inconvenient, these are all important requirements for both lines. Regardless, they must be placed at least 10 feet apart and can’t be laid in the same trench.
What Should I Take Away From This?
Let’s make it really simple now. Think of water lines and sewer lines as two lanes of traffic. Sewage is always going to be outbound. The water line is always going to be inbound. This is because anything that is traveling through the sewer line we want to get rid of. Anything that is coming through the water line is the clean, potable water that is available to us for use. If those ever cross each other, it will never be a guarantee that the water we have access to, will be clean and safe for use.
In conclusion, there are many differences between a sewer line and a water line. The differences between the two are quite important because of the health issues it brings to us if the requirements are not followed.
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