Municipal Infrastructure – Sanitary versus Storm Sewers

storm sewer

storm sewer


A construction firm with extensive water and sewer improvement experience, Giannetti Contracting Corporation serves clients from its offices in Southeast Michigan and South Florida. A family-owned underground utility construction firm, Giannetti Contracting has been in the business since 1958.

When people think of a sewer system, they tend to picture a common network of pipes that channel wastewater away from homes and businesses. In fact, sewers fall into two very different categories, and we encounter both on a regular basis.

One type is called a storm sewer. It’s specially designed to take in runoff from rainfall and carry it to natural bodies like rivers. Sanitary sewers, the second type, exist specifically for the disposal of sewage. Sanitary sewer pipes shuttle human waste to plants that treat wastewater until it’s safe to release back into the environment.

Knowing the difference between these two types of municipal infrastructure makes clear the dangers inherent in disposing of hazardous chemicals or sewage in storm drains. By doing so, people introduce harmful waste products directly into the environment, because storm drains do not lead to water treatment plants.