Understanding the Difference Between Stormwater and Wastewater

By April 17, 2018 No Comments
April showers bring May flowers! 

Believe it or not, stormwater and wastewater travel very different paths despite both ending up in the same place, eventually discharged to surface waters. Wastewater, after leaving your home’s plumbing system, is carried through a network of underground pipes that lead to a wastewater treatment plant where it goes through a series of treatment processes.  Once the wastewater meets effluent regulations it is then released back into the environment’s waterways or reused to replenish amenity ponds or irrigate landscapes.


Stormwater consist primarily of rainfall runoff and is not absorbed by the ground. It flows directly to storm drains or into surface waterways. It does not go through any treatment process. Never dispose of hazardous material into storm drains as it has the potential to poison fish and birds or clog the drainage system all together.


To keep your local wastewater treatment facility operating at its full potential, avoid disposing of the following items (1):


  • Wipes
  • Fats, oils or grease
  • Coffee grinds
  • Egg shells
  • Produce stickers
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Paper towels
  • Rags
  • Condoms
  • Motor oil, transmission fluids, anti-freeze or other toxic chemicals
  • Floss
  • Prescription and over-the counter medications

In the event that your wastewater treatment plant does get clogged with “unflushables”, look to AUC Group to help with continuing service. AUC’s fleet of bypass plants can be quickly commissioned if you are faced with a mandatory shutdown at your facility. Let’s work together in protecting earth’s most precious resource, water!



(1) “Wastewater vs. Stormwater”, Mount Pleasant Waterworks

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