Types of sewer systems

Reticulated sewer systems

A reticulated system refers to a system that is constructed, arranged or marked like a net or network. In terms of your sewer system this is referencing the network of pipes buried underground that carry sewage from buildings to our wastewater treatment plants.

Reticulated sewer systems are most common in urban areas such as cities and inner suburban areas.

Click on this link to learn more about our wastewater treatment plants.

On-site sewage management systems

If your home is not connected to Council’s reticulated town sewer system, then you are likely disposing of your wastewater via an on-site sewage management system.

These types of systems are more common in rural areas or towns that are not near an area with a reticulated system.

Although there are many variations of on-site effluent systems, there are 3 main types in use in the Shoalhaven and they are:

  • Septic systems
  • Pump-out systems, and
  • Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS)

Learn more about your effluent system and how to maintain it on the tanks and cleanout services page.

Pressure sewer systems

Pressure sewer systems are not common across the Shoalhaven and are generally located in areas where a conventional gravity system is not a viable servicing option, such as on flat or rocky terrain.

Pressure sewer systems operate like a normal sewerage system taking waste liquids from your toilet, sink, shower, bath, dishwasher and washing machine and transferring it to the reticulation system or treatment plant.

Your pressure sewer system has been installed so that we can access it for any maintenance or repairs. The system and all relating components are owned and maintained by Shoalhaven Water and at no times are they to be adjusted, serviced, or relocated by any persons other than Shoalhaven Water operations staff.

Learn more about your pressure sewer system on the pressure sewer systems explained page.

Avoiding blockages

Only the 3 P’s should be flushed down the toilet – Pee, Poo and (toilet) Paper. 

Causes of a sewer blockage may include:

  1. Wet wipes, tissues, kitchen paper, and rags being flushed down the toilet
  2. Rubbish, children’s toys, tennis balls, nappies, clothing, sanitary pads/tampons, cooking waste, sand, and other wastes not suitable for flushing into the sewer system
  3. Tree roots infiltrating the property pipes
  4. Crushed or flattened pipes that have been damaged
  5. Pipes that have been laid poorly

Tree roots and sewers

Tree roots damage sewer lines and can lead to clogged, overflowing, and slow-flowing drains. If this occurs within your property it is your responsibility to contact a plumber and have it fixed.

Root damage can also let stormwater into the pipes. During heavy rain, this extra water can overload the sewer system causing it to overflow into our waterways and pollute the environment.