What is the difference between foul and surface water drainage?

What is the difference between foul and surface water drainage?

It’s important to understand where water goes when it leaves your property and the difference between foul and surface water drainage systems.

What is foul water?

Foul water is waste from a sanitary convenience or waste that has been used for food preparation, washing or cooking. It can be heavily contaminated. 

Foul waste can be produced by a range of appliances or systems such as:

  • Toilets
  • Sinks
  • Baths
  • Showers
  • Washing Machines
  • Dishwashers

Since this water is potentially contaminated by harmful pollutants, it is usually directed through the main sewer network to a sewage treatment plant to be treated.

What is surface water?

Surface water is rain that falls on your premises and drains away, including run-off from flat surfaces like car parks, paths and driveways as well as water collected by gutters and drain pipes. Since surface water hasn’t been used in a property it is not contaminated, and is normally fairly clean so it is perfectly safe to be released straight into a river or stream.

Why is it important to keep foul water and surface water drainage systems separate?

The obvious differences between them both means foul and surface water drainage systems should be kept separate to avoid the risk of contaminated fluid being discharged into a watercourse. The implications of contaminating a watercourse are extremely serious - not just on the environment but a person or company could be fined, or in extreme cases, face a custodial sentence.

How can we help?

We are specialists when it comes to sewage treatment solutions, including sewage treatment plants, septic tanks, cesspools and sewage pumping stations, with over 25 years experience of supplying and installing these systems. We can supply you with a wide range of different brands and models to suit your specific requirements and if needed we can also provide you with an installation package. Please feel free to contact us for expert advice on  0121 351 3230.