Is There a Future for Vacuum Sewers?

by Donald D. Gray, West Virginia Univ, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Optimizing the Resources for Water Management

Abstract: Vacuum sewers collect and transport sanitary sewage using pressure difference rather than gravity as the primary motive force. Compared to conventional gravity sewers, they use smaller pipes, are less constrained by topography, are mechanically more complex, and require electrical power. Vacuum sewers are economically competitive in residential and commercial areas of low to moderate population density, flat or undulating topography, rocky soil, high water table, water shortage, or any combination of these conditions. More than forty vacuum sewer systems are now operating in the U.S., yet this number is small compared to the other alternatives. This paper reviews past and present applications, and speculates on possible future applications. Subjects covered include system components, pipeline materials, collection networks, and others.

Subject Headings: Pipe materials | Gravity sewers | Topography | Electric power | Soil water | Water shortage | Water level

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