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Sewers and Rain Don't Mix

Gwinnett has a separate stormwater system to manage wet weather, but heavy or lengthy storms can overwhelm the sewer collections system. This is known as inflow and infiltration (I/I).

Inflow occurs when rain flows rapidly into the pipes and infiltration happens when ground water seeps into them. Damaged laterals significantly contribute to the problem. DWR regularly tests the collections system and found that more than 80 percent of I/I in the system comes from faulty laterals.  

Aging infrastructure is one of the key factors in I/I and usually requires repairs or replacement.

DWR uses smoke testing to find areas in the collections system where there are I/I issues.  


Backup and Overflow Sources
Roots growing into laterals

Fats, oil, and grease poured down drains that harden in the pipe

Paper towels and cleaning wipes (sometimes called rags)flushed down toilets

Any kind of debris

Laterals cracked because of age, roots, or other damage

Faulty pipe joints let in groundwater

Bad connections between pipes let in groundwater

Broken or uncapped cleanouts let in stormwater

Roof downspouts or foundation drains connected to the lateral