Why Do Sewers Run in the Middle of the Road?

Sewers play a vital role in making our cities and towns more livable, healthier, and safer. They effectively transport human and industrial waste as well as rainwater away from our homes and streets so that they don’t pollute our environment. One question that has puzzled many is why sewers are typically in the middle of the road. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind this choice and how it contributes to the efficiency and safety of our cities.

Reason 1: Even Distance

Sewer lines often run down the middle of the road to maintain equal distances between houses and storm drains on both sides of the street. This layout makes it easier for cities to reach the main sewer lines at an equal distance, ensuring efficient and cost-effective transportation of wastewater and rainwater.

Moreover, putting the sewer lines in the middle of the road means the sewage system doesn’t have to be split or go out of the way. This comes in handy when providing services to newer homes or neighborhoods, as the pipes can follow the road network.

Reason 2: Depth

The other reason is the depth at which the sewer lines lie. Primary sewage and stormwater lines run deep below the road’s surface, usually in the middle of the street. One of the best ways to access this system for maintenance purposes is by using manholes that allow workers to reach and maintain the sewer lines easily.

The manholes are larger than the covers you see, meaning they need to be accommodated in a broader space. It would complicate things to locate them underneath a sidewalk. Plus, a section of the sidewalk would need to be dug up every time sewage maintenance was performed, causing costly interruptions and inconveniences.

Reason 3: Safety

Keeping a safe distance between different utilities is also necessary to avoid explosions and other safety hazards. The sewer lines could interfere with water, electrical, and cable lines if they ran underneath sidewalks. The middle of the road provides a buffer between the utility lines and automobiles driving in the street, so accidental contact is avoided.

By putting the sewers there, any maintenance job can be done safely, protecting both workers and residents. The road system also provides an extra layer of protection from any emergencies or accidents.

Engineering, Efficiency and Safety

Understanding why sewers run down the middle of the road may not be something we consider that much. Still, it’s a critical engineering consideration that ensures efficient transportation, maintenance, and safety.

The use of manhole covers ensures easy maintenance of the sewer lines and helps avoid interruptions and inconvenience. By keeping the sewer line system in the middle of the road, cities, and towns can reduce the likelihood of accidents and other hazards that could arise.

Does your sewer or drain system need a little upkeep? All State Civil Construction offers maintenance and proactive repair services for sewer manholes, and storm drains on a case-to-case basis, considering every project’s particulars. Don’t hesitate to contact us at (386) 465-2187 if you’d like to know more.



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