Alternate Sewers—No Longer Alternate

by Kneeland A. Godfrey, Jr., Sr. Ed.; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1986, Vol. 56, Issue 8, Pg. 66-69

Document Type: Feature article


The term alternate sewers means those used where neither conventional gravity sanitary sewers will suffice, nor will the septic tank/leach field system. In such situations, usually one of four alternates is chosen: the STEP (septic tank and effluent pumping), the Grinder-Pump system, the small diameter gravity sewer (with sewage flowing by gravity) and the vacuum sewer. This article describes the growing popularity of the four classes, since 1977 when Congress and EPA provided incentives, and says the operating and maintenance problems and costs do not seem to be excessive in well-conceived and run systems. In October 1986 the Water Pollution Control Federation was scheduled to publish the nation's first generic manual of practice, Alternate Sewer Systems. The other major hurdle to widespread, everyday use, is for state environment agencies, and consulting firms, to become familiar with them.

Subject Headings: Gravity sewers | Water pollution | Sanitary sewers | Septic tanks | Effluents | Pumps | Sewage | Environmental Protection Agency

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