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Chapter: Civil : Environmental Engineering : Planning For Sewerage Systems

Sources of Sewerage Systems: Rate of water

Truly speaking the quantity of used water discharged into a sewer system should be a little less than the amount of water originally supplied to the community.

Sources of Sewerage Systems: Rate of water


Truly speaking the quantity of used water discharged into a sewer system should be a little less than the amount of water originally supplied to the community. This is because of the fact that all the water supplied does not reach sewers owing to such losses as leakage in pipes or such deductions as lawn sprinkling, manufacturing processes etc. However, these losses may be largely be made up by such additions as surface drainage, groundwater infiltration, water supply from private wells etc. On an average, therefore, the quantity of sewage maybe considered to be nearly equal to the quantity of water supplied. Ground water infiltration and exfiltration.


The quantity of sanitary sewage is also affected by groundwater infiltration through joints. The quantity will depend on, the nature of soil, materials of sewers, type of joints in sewer

line, workmanship in laying sewers and position of underground water table.


Infiltration causes increase to the ?legitimate? flows in urban sewerage systems.


Infiltration represents a slow response process resulting in increased flows mainly due to seasonally-elevated groundwater entering the drainage system, and primarily occurring through defects in the pipe network.


Exfiltration represents losses from the sewer pipe, resulting in reduced conveyance flows and is due to leaks from defects in the sewer pipe walls as well as overflow discharge into manholes, chambers and connecting surface water pipes. The physical defects are due to a combination of factors including poor construction and pipe joint fittings, root penetration, illicit connections, biochemical corrosion, soil conditions and traffic loadings as well as aggressive groundwater.


It is clear that Infiltration and Exfiltration involve flows passing through physical defects in the sewer fabric and they will often occur concurrently during fluctuations in groundwater levels, and particularly in association with wet weather events; both of which can generate locally high hydraulic gradients. Exfiltration losses are much less obvious and modest than infiltration gains, and are therefore much more difficult to identify and quantify. However, being dispersed in terms of their spatial distribution in the sewer pipe, exfiltration losses can have potentially significant risks for groundwater quality. The episodic but persistent reverse ?pumping? effect of hydraulic gain and loss will inevitably lead to long term scouring of pipe surrounds and foundations resulting in pipe collapse and even surface subsidence.


Suggested estimates for groundwater infiltration for sewers laid below ground water table are as follows:


Minimum   Maximum


Litre/ day/ hectare 5,000 50,000

Lpd/ km of sewer/cm dia.        500    5,000



Design period


Following design period can be considered for different components of sewerage scheme.

1. Laterals less than 15 cm diameter : Full development

2. Trunk or main sewers : 40 to 50 years

3. Treatment Units : 15 to 20 years

4. Pumping plant : 5 to 10 years


Variations in sewage flow:-


The sewage flow, like the water supply flow, is not constant in practice but varies. The fluctuation may, in a similar way, be seasonal or monthly, daily and hourly.


Variation occurs in the flow of sewage over annual average daily flow. Fluctuation in flow occurs from hour to hour and from season to season. The typical hourly variation in the sewage flow is shown in the Figure . If the flow is gauged near its origin, the peak flow will be quite pronounced. The peak will defer if the sewage has to travel long distance. This is because of the time required in collecting sufficient quantity of sewage required to fill the sewers and time required in travelling. As sewage flow in sewer lines, more and more sewage is mixed in it due to continuous increase in the area being served by the sewer line. This leads to reduction in the fluctuations in the sewage flow and the lag period goes on increasing. The magnitude of variation in the sewage quantity varies from place to place and it is very difficult to predict.


For smaller township this variation will be more pronounced due to lower length and travel time before sewage reach to the main sewer and for large cities this variation will be less. The seasonal variations are due to climatic effect, more water being used in summer than in


winter. The daily fluctuations are the outcome of certain local conditions, involving habits and customs of people. Thus, in U.S.A. and other European countries, Monday is the washing day, as such, amount of sewage flow would be much greater than on any other day. In India, however, Sundays or other holidays involve activities which permit greater use of water. Hourly variations are because of varying rates of water consumption in different hours of the day.


The first peak flow generally occurs in the late morning it is usually about 200 percent of the average flow while the second peak flow generally occurs in the early evening between 6 and 9 p.m. and the minimum flow occurring during the night after twelve or early hours of the morning is generally about half of the average flow.


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