Inflow / Infiltration FAQs

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Inflow/Infiltration FAQs

What is the difference between a sanitary sewer and a storm sewer?

A sanitary sewer transports wastewater from bathrooms, sinks, bathtubs, showers, and industrial processes to the Wastewater Treatment Plant for treatment.

A storm sewer (or storm drains) transports rain runoff or groundwater from private and public land areas to the nearest creek, stream, lake or detention basin lake in order to prevent flooding.

What is a private sanitary sewer lateral?

A sewer line on private property that connects a home or business to the public sanitary sewer system.  It is the property owners’ responsibility to maintain and repair their sewer lateral.

What is an illegal connection?

Any connection that directs storm water or groundwater into the sanitary sewer system and may include outside yard/driveway drains, and rain gutters/downspouts.

How much water does I/I really add to the City's system?

On average, about 4.0 million gallons of water flow through the collection system every day during the dry season. But I/I can increase that to 20 million gallons or more during a storm event.

Why do we need to fix this now?

Areas within the system are exceeding the designed capacity to convey wastewater to the Wastewater Treatment Plan.  Excess water entering the system can contribute to environmental and public health hazards in the form of sanitary sewer overflows, additional costs associated with treatment, and pipeline replacement costs due to undersized infrastructure.

Control treatment, prevent overflows cost If I/I is not reduced the increased flow will require a major increase of sewer rates in order to accommodate additional treatment costs and a Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion. 

Untreated wastewater discharges and sanitary sewer overflows are water quality violations and are detrimental to the environment.

What if I still have questions?

The City is always available to answer questions, provide more information, and/or consult with property owners regarding the correction of I/I problems.  Please call Utilities Wastewater Collection Supervisor Jeremy Gearhart at (805) 781-7033 for more information regarding the I/I Reduction Program.