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Review of Design Standards and Criteria for Sizing Sanitary Sewers

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Parsons Engineering Science, Inc. (Parsons ES) was tasked by the U.S. EPA to identify industry and state practices for sizing both new and rehabilitated sanitary sewers. Parsons ES prepared a compendium of information on industry and state design standards for collection systems in the United States. This information provides a detailed understanding of how communities currently size and design their sewers. Design standards often reflect the technology and water use habits at the time the standards are developed, which can be several decade in the past. As a result, we have identified several new tools that are available for estimating peak flows that reflect current technology and water use habits.

In this paper, we discuss issues associated with the following questions that community's face

What peak flow issues confront the designer of municipal sanitary sewer systems?

What design standards are incorporated for new sewers?

What criteria are used to establish design objectives for major rehabilitation projects?

Our research has found that peak flows in sanitary sewers depend on a complex set of variables. We discuss these variables and identify tools used by communities to evaluate the operation of sewer systems. These tools were gathered through interviews with experienced practitioners, research on federal and local regulations and industry guidance documents.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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