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Drainage

An important part of the plumbing system is drainage, whereby waste or used water is encouraged to flow through a waste, or drainage pipe to a waste treatment location. The drainage system can only function properly when it has sufficient capacity and pitch, with tightly sealed joints, and proper venting which will eliminate air or gas pressure build up in the pipes. Waste or used water must be drained from a dwelling or house as it creates potentially harmful gasses which also have an unpleasant odour.

A proper drainage system employs gravity to draw waste water away, whereby the drainage system parts are pitched or sloped downhill. The drainage pipes need to be wide enough in diameter and smooth enough from the inside to allow the free flow of liquid and solid waste through it without catching while preventing the accumulation of waste at any point in the system.

Drainage Lines and Fixtures

Drainage lines must be pitched towards the sewer, typically a quarter of an inch pitch per foot should allow liquid waste to move freely through the system, a higher pitch will promote a stronger flow. The regulation for the proper installation of plumbing is covered in the building codes which is the jurisdiction of each municipality.

Septic Systems

Septic tank systems are the best individual sewage system, used by many households where city sewage systems are more difficult or costly to install. A septic tank type system functions by receiving raw sewage into the septic tank, starting a process employing bacterial action which breaks down waste solids into liquids and gasses. These liquids and gasses drain off through an outlet sewer into a box that distributes them into a disposal field. This disposal field uses the ground to absorb and clean the waste through a natural process of decay.

Cleanouts

To prevent and maintain drainage systems which can become clogged, a plumbing drainage system uses access points known as clean out plugs whereby the system is accessible to clean out a clog or blockage. Typically some form of "snake" or wire device is used to perform the clean out function. Plumbing stoppages occur due to an accumulation of hair, grease or foreign objects or substances which become caught in a drainage line causing a blockage.

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