Storm sewer systems are responsible for the proper disposal of wastewater, specifically runoff. Without these storm drains or sewer lines, flooding and other forms of water problems would surface whenever heavy rains come pouring down. Apart from obvious water damage, dirty floodwater carries multiple health risks due to the possible presence of disease-causing microorganisms and noxious substances.
However, storm sewers themselves can also pose threats to a community and to the environment. In California, experts have begun to suspect that sewer lines in the area may be transporting toxic chemicals to other places. NBC Bay Area reports:
The toxic chemical TCE has popped up in residential neighborhoods in Mountain View outside the boundary of an EPA Superfund site.
NBC Bay Area looked at maps of city infrastructure to follow the trail of toxic hot spots. The EPA is currently studying whether the sewer and storm drain system are serving as a conduit to transport the chemicals into neighborhoods
“The EPA is investigating the source of these TCE hot spot areas,” said Alana Lee, the Superfund site project manager. “We’re working with the city of Mt. View and looking at historical information. At this time EPA has not drawn any conclusions.”
Storm sewer water can easily be contaminated by harmful substances like TCE or coolant when they are poured into storm drains or washed away by rain. Unlike sanitation sewer systems, the water in storm sewers are not treated. As such, these harmful substances pose a threat to the health of both the environment and the general public.
Fortunately, maintenance crews can easily keep the environment and the public safe by using powerful sewer cleaning tools. These machines can easily remove water that has been compromised by harmful chemicals via heavy-duty vacuums and pumps. High-resolution sewer cameras can also help detect debris swept away by rain, allowing workers to clear the accumulation and prevent flooding.
Whether you need sturdy sewer nozzles or cameras, be sure to only deal with a trusted sewer equipment dealer like Haaker Equipment Company. Doing so ensures that the equipment you purchase perform at peak efficiency and are of outstanding quality—two very important factors to be considered when public and environmental safety are at stake.
(Source: Are Sewers Source of Toxic Hot Spots in Mountain View?, NBC Bay Area, February 18, 2014)