RESIDENTS REMINDED TO REMOVE SUMP PUMPS
FROM THE SANITARY SEWER
Actions can contribute to sewer backups;
RAPID CITY, SD--City officials are again reminding residents it is illegal to discharge water from sump pumps into the City's sanitary sewer system and are advising residents to remove existing sump pump connections to the sanitary sewer.
For a second consecutive year, the City's Public Works Department has sent letters to residents in areas affected in recent years by sewer backups and where sump pump discharge into the City's sanitary sewer system is suspected to be a contributing factor. In addition, residents will be receiving a message about city ordinance and sump pump discharge in their upcoming monthly water/sewer bills.
The City is also ramping up messaging on its social media platform during the spring and summer months.
"The City has experienced higher-than-normal sewer flows throughout the community in recent years,” said City Public Works Director Dale Tech. “We have had cases where properties have experienced sewer backups into the homes following rain events.
“The City wants to remind residents it's illegal to discharge storm water, including sump pumps, into the sanitary sewer system. This is a contributing factor to sewer backups in many instances and we know this to be a factor in some areas of the City. It’s not only illegal, but we want to encourage sewer customers to be good neighbors and remove sump pump connections to the sanitary sewer. This includes sump pumps connected to floor drains or connected in some way to the City’s sanitary sewer system."
Sump pumps, which remove ground water from homes and businesses, should be discharged into yards or streets. The sanitary sewer system is designed to convey only water from toilets, sinks, showers, dishwashers, and laundry machines. Dumping storm water in the sanitary sewer system could lead to sewage backups in the homeowner or neighbor’s basement and contribute to a downstream sewer problem. It is illegal in the City of Rapid City to discharge groundwater from sump pumps, or any other storm water, into the sanitary sewer. If residents are found in violation of City ordinances (13.16.200 and 1.12.010), they risk a fine of $500 and/or jail time of up to 30 days.
The City does have a policy allowing sump pump discharge into the sanitary sewer system during winter months when discharging to the street may create icy, hazardous conditions. According to Tech, this discharge is allowed by permit only from November 1-April 1.
Anyone needing assistance to determine if they have a connection or need assistance determining a means of redirecting storm water from the sewer system may contact the City’s Building Services Division at 394-4120. Questions regarding sump pump discharge can be directed to Rapid City Engineering Services at 394-4154.