What is Lateral?
Definition of Lateral in Construction
In piping systems, especially utilities such as water, storm and sanitary, the lateral refers to the piping systems that run from the property to the primary systems, normally located within the street.
Laterals are normally smaller diameter piping systems, in comparison to the primary lines, and are engineered by the mechanical engineer on the project. The replacement of lateral systems installed in housing projects, has become a re-occurring operation by utility companies. The replacement of old lead lined water piping systems has become an extremely sensitive issue, in lieu of the detrimental effects of lead poisoning. The lead lined water pipes are referred to as laterals from the primary water supply in the street to the structure. The replacement of laterals with synthetic products or copper has become common place. Plastic tubing has taken the place of most water lateral work.