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Gutter, Leaders, and Downspouts

GUTTER, LEADERS, AND DOWNSPOUTS

What is a rain leader?

A rain leader is a pipe that is connected to the rain gutter downspouts. The pipe is then connected to your sewer service. When it rains or when the snow on your roof melts the water travels down the gutters, into the rain leaders, and finally into the sewer main in the street.

Why is having your rain leaders connected a problem?

Discharging rain water to a sanitary sewer through rain leaders violates state and federal laws required by the Clean Water Act of 1977, and contributes to the hundreds of millions of gallons of stormwater that the Scranton Sewer Authority has to unnecessarily treat each year. Currently the Scranton Sewer Authority is permitted and capable of treating 20 million gallons of wastewater per day. In a rain event the Authority can take in as much as 39 million gallons per day or more. Stormwater from rain leaders greatly contribute to this increased flow. Because the Scranton Sewer Authority Treatment Plant is not designed to handle this amount of flow, the wastewater is not treated properly and causes the Authority to discharge pollutants to the Lackawanna River and connecting waterways including the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay.

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