Sewers are a necessary evil. They keep our cities clean and prevent the spread of disease. Unfortunately, most people don’t know much about the sewer systems that keep their communities clean and healthy. Luckily for you, I’ve been researching this topic for some time now and have learned many interesting things about sewers. Here are three:
Sewers are integral to urban life.
Sewers are an integral part of urban life. Without them, cities would be unable to function as they do today. They also reduce flooding by collecting storm runoff, preventing it from pooling on streets or buildings, and preventing sewage backups.
Sewer lift stations in areas where the water table is high, meaning water is abundant near the surface. They use pumps to move sewage from underground pipes into larger pipes and then discharge it into a nearby body of water. The earliest sewer lift station had steam-powered pumps to move the wastewater upward. Today’s lift stations use electric motors to pump wastewater into higher elevations and back down into the ground.
They aren’t actually “lifts” at all. They’re more like pumps that push sewage up from deep underground pipes into the main pipe. This moves it through the rest of the drainage system until it reaches its final destination. Most lift stations are at the lowest point so they can pump wastewater to treatment facilities or outfall points.
The smell of sewers due to hydrogen sulfide gas.
Hydrogen sulfide gas is the chemical compound that produces the distinctive smell of a sewer. Bacteria and other microorganisms in sewers produce it, which smells like rotten eggs. It can be dangerous if you breathe it in, so some municipalities require special equipment for maintenance workers who go into sewers. In addition, hydrogen sulfide is colorless, odorless, and flammable. It’s just not nice to have around!
Some sewers infest with alligators.
The next fact is that some sewers infest with alligators. These alligators are usually young and abandoned by their mothers, looking for a new place to live. As you may know, the water can be warm, and a lot of food is available in the sewers. So if you ever find yourself crossing paths with one of these creatures, be thankful that it isn’t an adult.
The truth is that sewer systems are both magnificent and horrible simultaneously. Sewer systems are necessary for urban life because they provide a way to dispose of human waste. But as you can imagine, daily putting human waste into an underground system can be a real problem.
Sewer systems are essential for the disposal of human waste. Still, they also have another important role: serving as a source of disease in some areas. The most common diseases associated with sewer rats include typhoid fever, cholera, and leptospirosis. This bacterial disease causes liver damage.
There’s also one thing you might not know about sewers: they sometimes contain alligators! But fear not. These aren’t just any old gators. They’re baby alligators who fall into the sewer. They survive there until adulthood before being flushed out by city workers when they’re ready to deal with them or too big.
It’s hard to imagine a world without sewers, but we can be thankful for their existence. Without them, our cities would be much less livable and smelly.