Waste Water Collection

Wastewater is composed of human and household wastes from toilets, sinks, baths, and drains, non-hazardous chemicals, and other waste from factories, food services operations, airports, shopping centers, etc…It is 99% water and very little waste. Homes, businesses, institutions, and industries are connected to vast networks of underground pipes that transport wastewater to treatment plants where it is cleaned and released back into the environment.

Sewer systems have been carrying away wastewater since the times of ancient Rome. But not until the 1800’s, after hundreds of thousands of people died from an epidemic caused by bacteria found in polluted water flowing through sewers and streets, have safer and more sanitary wastewater collection and treatment techniques evolved through a combination of biology, physics, chemistry, and engineering. The result? Public health and water quality are safe and reliable. Here’s how wastewater is collected and treated…

WATER that goes down the sink first passes through a trap into an underground sewer line which is maintained by property owners. These service sewer lines then connect to the Authority’s service lateral, or main, located in either an easement next to private property or in the street. Repairs and maintenance of the lines which are located in the streets or easements are the responsibility of the Authority’s.

FROM THE SERVICE LATERAL, wastewater enters the collection mains or collector lines. These lines “collect” wastewater from each home, apartment, store or business where it flows toward larger lines called trunk mains. The trunk mains connect to the Dawson Forest WRF.

SEWER LINES used to be made of wood, concrete or virified clay. Today, pipe carrying wastewater is most primarily made from PVC and Ductile Iron.
THE FLOW OF WASTEWATER IS ENDLESS. Thousands of gallons of human and household waste from drains, toilets, and sinks flow into the system. Chemicals and other waste from schools, businesses, industries, shopping malls and food service operations also enter the treatment system. In all about 250,000 gallons of wastewater flow through the Authority’s system to our treatment plant every day.

Etowah Water and Sewer Authority currently have 327 sewer connections. The wastewater collection system consists of 22.21 miles of sanitary sewers ranging in size from 6” to 24”. It also has 13 lift stations and approximately 500 manholes.