Difference Between Sewer and Sewage

Sewer vs Sewage

Every household has a drainage system in place to help liquid waste be taken out of the home. This waste is called sewage and is drained out through pipes that drain out into an underground structure called sewer that is situated outside the house. In cities and even rural areas, there is a system of underground sewers that are connected to a main sewer that drains the waste of the city. The words sewer and sewage are often confused by people as they seem to be similar. Many tend to use sewer and sewage interchangeably that is wrong. The two terms are different, and this article intends to highlight their differences.


Human waste (urine and poop) needs to be carried away from the houses and even the residential areas for purposes of cleanliness and hygiene. There is a drainage system that is especially built to carry out this semi solid waste through pipes outside the houses. This drainage system is separate from the water drainage system that drains excess water as this system takes out pure waste. This waste is called sewage or simply wastewater as it is mainly liquid in nature. The word sewage comes from French assewer that means to drain out water. Sewage contains organisms that can be potentially harmful for human beings. This is why it is sought to be drained out of the community.


Sewer or sanitary sewer is a system of drainage of sewage from houses and institutions. This is a system that is made up of pipes and the pumping station that is designed to dispose the human waste or to treat it. The term sewer is also used to the structure outside the house where the sewage of the household goes. The entire sewage of the city finally ends up at a treatment plant. In cities, there is a civic body that maintains the sewer system of the city that is made up of pipes running from houses to the main sewer outside, and from this sewer underground to the main sewage treatment plant through a network of interconnected drains. A system of sewers is often referred to as sewerage. Sewerage is also the act of removal of water waste by the use of sewers.

What is the difference between Sewer and Sewage?

• Sewage is the human waste that is carried through underground pipes to the sewage treatment plant of the city.

• Sewer is the term used for the structure that carries human waste out of the households and the community to the treatment plant.

• People also refer to the underground structure covered by iron manholes on the streets of the city as sewer.