Cross-Connections at the Crosshairs in Philadelphia Water System

Another historically old American city, another aging pipe system under distress. Philadelphia is one of the oldest cities in the nation so naturally, their underground infrastructure is showing its age. A common theme amongst older cities is a combined sewer system, and Philadelphia is experiencing challenges with theirs.

One of the most recent pipe challenges, within the combined sewer system, the city is tackling are the cross-connections. With cross-connections, the stormwater pipes and the sewer pipes run together. This can create too much flow for the old systems to handle and Philadelphia is seeing this problem. City contractors are having to find the location of the issue where clogs and overflows are occurring and then provide a solution to correct the problem.

Another problem with the cross-connections is once the stormwater and sewage combine, it then has to be filtered and treated. This is a common and costly problem with outdated pipe systems.

Older cities frequently experience these issues because the creators of these city pipe systems did not anticipate the amount of water and sewage the pipes would take on in the future.

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