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Storm Drains & Sewer

A storm drain system is designed to drain excess rain and ground water from paved streets, parking  lots, and sidewalks. Storm drains vary in design from small residential dry wells to large municipal  systems. They are fed by street gutters on most motorways and freeways as well as in towns which  experience heavy rainfall or flooding and additionally in coastal towns. Storm drainage systems are  typically designed to drain storm water into rivers or streams.

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Storm Drain Types

The two main types of stormwater drain inlets are side inlets and grated inlets. Side inlets are  located adjacent to the curb and rely on the ability of the opening to capture flow. Grated inlets have  gratings or grids to prevent large objects and debris from falling into the storm drain system. However,  their bars are fairly widely spaced so that the flow of water is not impeded. Consequently sediment  and many small objects can fall through. Some of the heavier sediment and small objects may settle  in a catch basin, or sump, which lies immediately below the outlet, where water from the top of the  catch basin reservoir overflows into the storm drain system proper.

The Catch Basin

The catch basin serves much the same function as the “trap” in household wastewater plumbing in  trapping objects. In the United States, unlike the plumbing trap, or more commonly known “P-Trap”,  the catch basin does not necessarily prevent sewer gases such as hydrogen sulfide and methane  from escaping. Catch basins can also serve to control surface water in yard areas or provide clean-out access to underground piping systems.


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