Inflow and infiltration happens when clean water, groundwater and storm water enters the sewage system for treatment through illegal sump pump connections, downspouts or holes and cracks in the pipes.
Why is inflow and infiltration a problem?
Inflow and infiltration is a problem because they:
- Reduce the capacity of the sewage system leaving less for existing residents and future growth
- Make sewage treatment less efficient as the sewage is diluted by water
- Increase the cost of water to residents because sewage treatment plants are required to treat a higher volume of flow
- May overwhelm wastewater treatment, discharging sanitary sewage into the natural environment
- May cause sewage backups in basements
What you can do to prevent inflow and infiltration
There are some simple things you can do to ensure your property doesn't contribute to inflow and infiltration.
- Ensure your home's downspout is disconnected from the sanitary sewer system and flowing properly towards the storm sewer, onto the ground or into a rain barrel
- Ensure sewer grates on your street are free from debris such as leaves and garbage to ensure storm water drains properly
Springwater monitors rainfall and the sewage system to find areas with higher than expected water flow. We may further investigate sources through:
- Visual inspection
- The most common type of inspection
- A trained staff member visually inspects the sewage system for possible sources of inflow and infiltration
- Smoke testing
- Blowing non-toxic, odourless smoke into the sewer system to determine direct connections from downspouts, storm sewers or other potential sources
- Dye testing
- Introducing a non-toxic dye to potential sources, such as ditches, storm mains and sump pits