What Is Foul Water Drainage?

what is foul water drainage

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Chances are you may have found yourself wondering exactly where the foul water leading away from your drains and toilets travels to or perhaps you are unfamiliar with the difference between regular water, foul water, and surface water? Each is different and has different ways of reaching you and being disposed of, but foul water is the most important since this water needs to drain away properly. 

Foul water drainage is the removal of drain water that is deposited with waste. Foul water drains away from the home to a nearby mains sewer to be treated and distributed back into the main water supply.

Read on to learn more about foul water drainage and its differences from surface water drainage and how we can help if you are experiencing issues with improper foul water drainage.

What Is Foul and Surface Water Drainage?

It can be easy to remember that foul water drainage is the water that is expelled from your home and most of the time this is accompanied by various types of waste. Any water that runs into the drain from a sink – be it in the kitchen or bathroom – is considered to be foul water drainage.

Surface water drainage is water that is removed from the home generally outdoors. This includes rainwater and water from hoses used to water gardens which drain into nearby soakaways, rivers, or back into the sewer system.

Foul water is unsafe due to the harmful bacteria that exist in the water due to the accompanying waste, while surface water is a lot less harmful due to the overall absence of harmful bacteria.

How Do I Know If I Have Foul Water Drainage?

It is easy to determine if your home has foul water drainage since this is the wastewater that is expelled from your home every time you run the faucet, flush the toilet, or use the shower. It is important to know if your property removes foul water drainage to mains sewer or if your property has its own private off mains drainage system, which is usually only seen in more rural communities.

What Is the Difference Between Foul Water and Surface Water Drainage?

Foul water and surface water drainage are entirely different, even though both may seem like wastewater, surface water is never meant to flow into the sewer drains since this water requires a very minimal amount of treatment to be returned to the drinking water supply.

Foul water drainage will need to be rigorously treated at sewage treatment plants before this water can be considered safe to return to the main water supply. Surface water is barely contaminated, whereas foul water drainage is potentially deadly if consumed, which means this wastewater has to be purified multiple times to both rid the waste and sterilise the water.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Surface Water Drain to a Foul Sewer?

Surface water cannot be drained into a foul sewer unless you are willing to pay for this service through your water bill. Although this is convenient, this limits the ability for quick treatment of surface water to be returned to the drinking supply, which means this is considered a billable surface due to the procedures necessary to treat the surface water in conjunction with foul water.

One way to eliminate this from occurring is to have a soakaway constructed on your property to redistribute the surface water and avoid the water becoming foul water simply because it drains into a foul sewer.

What Colour Should Foul Water Drains Be?

Foul water drains are typically going to be red in colour for the outside units containing adequate sewer lines. Most drains for surface water are going to be blue in colour and both of these colours are recognised throughout the UK as popular colours to distinguish between foul water drains and surface water drains.

Talk to a Drainage Expert

With these key differences in mind, it will save you some time in trying to figure out if you are dealing with a problem related to foul water drainage or surface water drainage. There are many variables that can make matters confusing, therefore, speaking with a drainage expert is the best step to take to diagnose any potential problems.

KJC Drainage has over 20 years of experience diagnosing, treating, repairing, and replacing a wide variety of drainage issues. Contact us today to discuss any discrepancies you may have when it comes to improper drainage of surface water or any problems related to improper foul water drainage.

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