What’s the Difference Between Storm & Sanitary Sewers?

The City of Duluth has two types of sewers:

  • Storm sewers carry snow melt and rainwater runoff from streets, buildings, lawns and parking lots. This stormwater flows off the streets into catch basins or ditches; then it flows through underground storm sewers and culverts to the nearest creek, stream, river, or Lake Superior. Stormwater runoff is not treated or cleaned before it enters our waterways.
  • Sanitary sewers carry wastewater away from our homes and businesses; the water is used in sinks, showers, bath tubs, laundry and toilets. This wastewater flows through the sanitary sewer system to a wastewater treatment facility, where the water is treated (cleaned) before it’s discharged back into the environment.

Other Learning Stations

Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Louis River Quest Volunteers
City of Duluth – Utility Operations
U.S. Coast Guard & USCG Auxiliary
Minnesota Power/Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center
Duluth Seaway Port Authority
MN DNR Scientific and Natural Areas Program
USDA Forest Service/Superior National Forest
Western Lake Superior Sanitary District
Minnesota Sea Grant Program