We looked, in a recent post on this blog, about how the water gets into your home. Continuing our occasional series on your water and plumbing systems, it is time to take a look at how water (and the things you add to it) leave your home.
Depending on the age of your home waste water is probably carried away from your house using one of two systems:
a) A soil-and-vent pipe and waste pipe combination that carries waste from the upstairs lavatories and from sinks, baths and showers separately.
b) A single stack pipe drainage system. Waste from all the sinks and lavatories is carried underground by a single soil and vent pipe.
Whatever the system, all the sinks and lavatories in the house have traps which hold enough water to prevent gases escaping back into the house to cause nasty smells. Traps in sinks also provide a means of access to clear blockages in the waste system.
Below ground, the household waste pipes are channelled through inspection chambers near the house to form the main drain, which then runs into the water company’s sewer.
As a householder, you are generally responsible for all the drains and waste pipes on your property. In later posts we will look at things you can do to prevent problems.