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Sanitary Sewer Vs. Storm Sewer
Sanitary Sewer System
The Knoxville sewer system is divided into sewer areas where naturally, gravity carries wastewater downward and eventually to the Water Reclamation Facility for treatment. Only approved sewer drains that are protected from storm and ground water should drain to the sanitary sewer system. The system is designed with the appropriate sized pipes to handle the removal of wastewater only, and does not have the capacity to handle additional water from storm and ground water sources. The sanitary sewer system should accommodate the removal of wastewater from both existing and new development.

Storm Sewer System
The storm sewer system is designed to carry storm and ground water directly to natural drainage features such as creeks, streams, rivers, and/or lakes. This system is designed with much larger capacity pipes and drainage features to handle large volumes of water from rain, snow melt, and ground water sources. Storm and ground water is clear water that does not need treatment before entering a natural drainage feature.