Where Does Plumbing Waste Go?

A close up of a toilet with the words, "Where Does Plumbing Waste Go?"

Hopefully, you don’t have much cause to contemplate sewage in your day to day life. But if it’s something you need to consider, it’s important to start with a complete definition. Plumbing sewage includes not only toilet waste, but also wastewater that comes from the bath/shower, kitchen sink, dishwasher, washing machine, and even pool water. Considering we use water every day, you might wonder what happens to the plumbing sewage you generate.

Where Does Plumbing Waste Go?

City Sewer Systems

In city sewer systems, sewage system lines flow into larger pipes until they reach the wastewater treatment plant. Sewage treatment plants are often located in low-lying areas where the lines follow a downhill path so that they can take advantage of gravity. At the treatment plant, the water is filtered and moved into a sand container. Here sand, ashes, and any gravel settle at the bottom of the container while the other sewage continues running through pipes. The waste is then sent down to another sewer line that flows into the larger vessel of the sewage treatment plant to be further treated and purified for reuse.

Septic Tanks

Septic tanks are made of reinforced concrete or sometimes fiberglass, and they are typically found in densely populated rural areas. They handle and dispose of wastewater onsite where the tank is located deep in the ground; this makes them more economical than city sewer lines. A septic tank requires extra pumping to be able to extract the slide in the tank. This allows anaerobic bacteria to clean the water.

Other Waste Disposal Options

Non-electric sewage treatment plant

This is a sustainable home sewage treatment system that does not consume energy. It is a good option for septic tank upgrades and new construction homes. This is an especially environmentally friendly option as it treats sewage as an energy and nutrient source; the waste is recycled for ecological use and the water is purified for further use.


A cesspool is a waste tank that removes sewage waste by breaking it down with chemicals. The waste is then dumped into approved landfills.

Gravity Drainage

The wastewater exits into a swelling and is pulled down to the drainage pipe at a downwards angle. Gravity pulls the waste into a sewage treatment plant or a septic tank.

Pumping Station

Pumping stations draw air into an aeration system and move wastewater into higher elevations towards a pumping station. Here, the sewage is forced through collection systems that remove the raw sewage from the water.

Plumbing Waste Is No Problem for the Plumbing Lady

If you’d rather not dive into the complex and messy world of plumbing waste, all you need to do is call HEB Plumbing & Sprinkler. We’re here to make sure your plumbing is in tip-top shape so that you can keep your hands clean. Call us today!