As Tropical Storm Isaias approaches, please review how you can prevent sewer backups

Sump Pumps Should NOT be connected to the sewer system

Prevent sanitary sewer overflows and sewer backups by eliminating storm water and groundwater from entering the sanitary sewer system. An 8-inch sanitary sewer pipe can handle wastewater from approximately 200 homes. Just 18 sump pumps will consume the same capacity! If clear water is directed into the sanitary sewer and the capacity is ultimately overwhelmed, sewers can back-up into houses and overflow from manholes causing the release of raw sewage into the environment. This creates health and safety issues that can be costly to resolve. Inflow water from sump pumps and downspouts needs to be directed to lawn, ditches, storm drains, retention ponds and natural waterways. Sump pumps currently connected to the sanitary sewer system must be disconnected and rerouted to the storm water system.

What should I do? • Disconnect sump pumps from interior sanitary plumbing drains that discharge to the sanitary sewer system. • Make sure the caps or plugs on your sewer trap are sealed tight. If they look old or ill-fitting, replace them immediately. • Maintain positive drainage away from your house foundation. • Make sure discharges are not directed onto an adjacent property, sidewalk or street. • Ensure that the lateral from your house to the mainline sewer is in good condition and not broken or cracked. • If your home has had sewer backups in the past, remember to plug low lying drains Remember, the sanitary sewer system is designed to manage normal flows of wastewater, not the capacity of rainwater or water from sump pumps.

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