Infiltration occurs when groundwater enters the sanitary sewer system through defects in the system. Inflow occurs when stormwater/rainwater enters the sanitary sewer system through defects and illegal connections in the system.
How a Sewer System Works
Most sanitary sewer systems are constructed as a network of manholes and pipes that flow from each building that generates sewage to a wastewater treatment plant. Private services are pipes from the building to the sewer main. Defects on private services include, missing cleanout caps, broken cleanouts, broken service lines, sump pump flows and stormwater flow from downspouts, area drains, basement drains, stairwell and window well drains.
Eliminating Private Service Line Defects
Eliminating private service line infiltration and inflow defects can be as simple as replacing a cleanout cap. Other defect repairs may require an entire service lateral to be replaced and may require hiring a licensed plumber. Cost of repairs can range from $2.00 - $2,000.00.
Many agencies are developing programs to eliminate private service infiltration and inflow defects. Programs include:
- Locating the defects
- Educating the public
- Smoke Testing
- Dye Testing
In an effort to eliminate storm water infiltration into the DPU wastewater collection system, DPU is conducting smoke testing of the wastewater collection system. Deficiencies found during smoke testing are documented and property owners are notified to make the necessary corrections and/or repairs.
As stated in the City of Orangeburg Code of Ordinances 23-54.3 (h), no person shall allow sources of surface water or ground water to enter a building sewer which is directly or indirectly connected to the wastewater collection system.
We will continue our efforts to eliminate stormwater infiltration into the DPU wastewater collection system. Excessive stormwater increases treatment cost, reduces the carrying capacity of existing lines and increases operation and maintenance cost, all of which are passed on to the customer.
For additional information or questions, please call the Wastewater Division at 803-268-4504.