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Sump Pump Usage in the Town of Winfield

The Town of Winfield has experienced an increased flow to our wastewater treatment plant and in order to minimize the potential need to increase sewer rates the Town will be conducting inspections of sump pump and gutter drain discharges throughout town.  Smoke and dye testing are being planned in the near future in order to identify illegal connections. Indiana Plumbing Code 675 IAC 16-1.4-11, Section 1101.3 states that “storm water shall not be drained into sewers intended for sewage only.”

If you have a sump pump, basement drain, or gutter drain connected to the sewer line at your home it MUST be disconnected. Any homes found to have a sump pump, basement drain or gutter drain connected to the sanitary sewer line will be subjected to fines up to $2,500 per day per Winfield Town Code Chapter 10.99.  All sump pumps and gutter drains must drain to the exterior of your home into the yard.

The added flows created by illegal connections to the sanitary sewer line increases the flow to our wastewater treatment plant, takes up our plant capacity, is expensive to treat, and can cause HIGHER SEWER RATES for all Town residents if not addressed.

Please report any suspected illegal connections to the Winfield Town Hall at 219-662-2665.



Do I have an illegal sump pump connection?

Sump pumps may be accidentally or intentionally connected to the building lateral running to the sanitary sewer. These connections should be disconnected and re-routed to the stormwater system. To determine if you have an illegal connection to the sanitary, trace the sump pump discharge line while the sump pump is running. If the pipe does not go outside to your yard, storm sewer, or into a cistern/dry well then it is most likely an illegal connection and needs to be disconnected from the sanitary line.

What is Inflow and Infiltration?

Inflow and infiltration are terms used to describe the ways clear water (groundwater and stormwater) enter the sanitary sewer system.  Infiltration occurs when groundwater seeps into the sewer pipes through cracks, leaky joints or deteriorated manholes. Inflow occurs when water is directed from sump pumps or downspout drains into the sanitary sewer.

Why is clear water a problem?

Clear water entering the wastewater collection and treatment system create two main problems:

  1. It consumes system capacity. An 8-inch sanitary sewer can handle wastewater from approximately 200 homes. Only 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.

  2. Clear water that reaches the treatment plant is treated unnecessarily. This increases the cost of treatment and adds to the wear and tear on equipment, reducing its life span. The added cost of treating this clear water is then passed onto the customers.

What should I do?

  • Disconnect sump pumps from interior sanitary plumbing drains that discharge to the town's sanitary sewer system.

  • 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.

  • Remember, the sanitary sewer system is designed to manage normal flows of wastewater, not rainwater or water from sump pumps.

sump pump. diagram
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