April showers bring May flowers, but they can also cause sewage backups in your basement. Sanitary sewers are a closed-pipe system, which shouldn’t be affected by rainfall. But when storm sump pumps are connected to the sanitary system, thousands of gallons of rain water are directed into the sanitary sewer system. This can contribute to sewage backups and flooding inside your or your neighbor’s home. This connection also causes more water to flow into our wastewater treatment plant. When the plant must process hundreds of thousands of extra gallons of storm water, its operating costs go up, as well as the user costs we pay in our sewer bills.
Do illegal sump pump connections really have a major impact on the sewer system?” The answer is “YES”. A typical 8-inch sanitary sewer can handle wastewater from about 350 homes, but if only 12 of those homes have sump pumps running at full capacity, the sewer will become overloaded and backups and flooding will occur.
The Village is asking for help from our residents to remove all storm sump pumps from our sanitary sewer system. This connection is also a violation of State and Federal environmental regulations and the Village’s Sewer Use Ordinance. A resident who knowingly violates this ordinance could be subject to fines of up to $500 per day and termination of service.
So, how can you prevent these sewer backups and higher costs for us all? Make sure that your storm sump pump is not connected to the sanitary plumbing. If it is, disconnect it at once, seal the connection point to prevent sewer gas from entering your home, and route it to the outside – at least five feet from your home’s foundation. Only then will you be assured that you are not contributing to a sewer backup problem that could damage your home or your neighbor’s.
If you need help identifying your storm sump pump and its connection or need additional information, please contact the Public Works Department at (630) 871-6260.