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The temporary variance period for sump pumps to discharge clear water to the sanitary sewer is ending March 15th. After that date, sump pump water must be directed to your yard or another acceptable location and not to the sanitary sewer.
After March 15th, it is imperative that sump pump water be directed to your yard, street curb and gutter, or another acceptable location. Remember to lay your sump pump hose out on a declining surface (board, snow drift, etc.) so it drains empty in case of freezing conditions.
Sump pump flows have a significant impact on the sewer system. A 1/3 HP sump running 15 minutes per hour for a 24 hour period can discharge approximately 10,800 gallons per day. If 100 sump pumps operate under these conditions, this would amount in an additional 1,080,000 gallons per day into the system! The average design flow of the wastewater facility is 4,000,000 gallons per day.
The cost of treating clean sump pump water is the same as treating polluted wastewater. Increased flows due to clean sump pump water result in increased costs at the wastewater facility. Continued increased flows could result in an increase in sewer rates. Excessive sump pump discharges into the sanitary sewer could also result in the sanitary sewer system flooding your basement and/or your neighbor’s basements.
The installation of gutters and downspouts is an effective and easy means of water management if downspout extensions are in place and long enough to convey the water away from the foundation.
Please be advised that if you are identified as discharging unpolluted water and/or sump pump discharges into the sanitary sewer when the temporary seasonal variance period is not in effect or without a written variance during the temporary seasonal variance period you could be subjected to the criminal penalties associated with a Class 2 Misdemeanor, including up to 30 days in jail and up to a $500 fine. Additionally, each day on which noncompliance shall occur or continue to occur shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation.
The public’s help by routing sump pumps out of the sanitary sewer is greatly appreciated.