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Sump Pump Question


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Originally posted by hausdok

Hi All,

I seem to remember something somewhere that said it's a no-no to discharge infiltration water removed by a sump pump (not a waste ejector) into a municipality's sewer system. Can't find the reference. Can anyone help?

OT - OF!!!


Generally speaking, you are not allowed to discharge "clean" water from roof drains or groundwater infiltration from sump pumps into the sewer system in most municipalities. It may be allowed in communities that have combined sewer systems. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to your question. You should find the specific prohibitions in either the local building code or in the local sewer use law.

Combined sewer systems use one pipe network to convey sewage and storm water runoff instead of using separate pipe networks for each. You'll tend to find combined sewer systems in the older parts of old cities. Because combined sewer systems discharge raw or partially treated sewage to lakes, streams, and rivers when it rains, new ones haven't been allowed for several decades, and the existing ones are being placed under ever-tightening controls by the EPA and states. Thus, even in systems where it was once ok to allow the sump pump to be tied into the municipal sewer, it might not be ok today.

The control programs are customized for each sewer system. Different areas of each system may be under different levels of control, and they may vary in how aggressive they are in seeking out and eliminating things like sump pump connections, once they are prohibited. Sometimes they grandfather existing connections until the title to the property is about to change hands, and sometimes they are actively searching for these connections and, if found, require them to be removed, usually at the property owner's expense.

I think the best advice a HI can give to anyone who is about to purchase a property where the sump pump is connected into the municipal sewer system, is that the purchaser (or someone on their behalf) should contact the municipal sewer department and the local building code enforcement officer and ask them if it is ok at that address, and they should do this before they take title to the property. Once they take title, the prior owner's problem will become their problem to fix. Cost of correction by a qualified plumber would probably run a few hundred dollars, but could run higher if it is difficult to locate a suitable place for the sump pump to discharge once it is removed from the municipal sewer system.


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