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Old 09-06-2011, 12:17 AM   #1
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Sump drains to sewer


While browsing these forums I have found that it is NOT advisable to have a sump drain to sewer. That said, mind does. When I bought the home, the inspector checked the sump for proper operation and said that all was well. It's my first house so I figured that he actually knew what he was doing.

Come to find out over the course of the past 1-1/2 years that the inspector was actually a moronic crook who just wanted the $$$ that I was paying him. (long story).

My question: Can I get in trouble for this? I'm tempted to call the city to find out what the proper configuration is but am also cautious to call. At least now I have the excuse of "Home inspector said it was OK. I'm just a homeowner and paid him to know what I didn't".

If I can get busted, any ideas on what could happen? I have a very small lot and no practical way to get the water away from the house other than through the sewer. (Without dumping it in the neighbors yard). No idea if there is a storm sewer that I can connect to either. Plus, in the winter it will no doubt freeze if the pipe runs out to the front yard. Soil is clay so french drain may be problematic plus I don't know how deep I would need to dig.

Any thoughts?

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Old 09-06-2011, 06:26 AM   #2
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Sump drains to sewer


In many area that is an illegal connection, and not grandfathered in, even older connections must be removed. This causes municipal sewer systems to overload with water other than sewage. They will not arrest you or shut off your water/power, but they can fine you.

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Old 09-06-2011, 06:50 AM   #3
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Sump drains to sewer


Bill is right----If that is a sump and not a sewage pit ---start planning a new exit for that---

A call to the village or a look at the code book (available on line in most cases) will give you the final answer.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:07 AM   #4
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Sump drains to sewer


An underground "French drain" with no pump or outlet and into which you pour water is more properly called a leach field even though it is constructed as a French drain. The water will not soak and dissipate readily into clay soil.

If you pump the water out into your yard and the water finds its way to the street you might get away with that.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 09-06-2011 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:54 AM   #5
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Sump drains to sewer


Anyone have an idea of how deep I would need to do the leach field to prevent it from freezing in the winter? I'm in Northwest Indiana near Chicago. Thanks!

Last edited by butchbs1985; 09-06-2011 at 07:55 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:13 AM   #6
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Sump drains to sewer


AllanJ,
Just re-read your post about the water not dissipating in to clay. Say the sump only runs once or twice a day and I run a leach field of say three 10' lengths of perforated pipe surrounded by stone and make each one a few feet apart. Any thoughts on how much water may / may not seep out?

A lot will depend on how deep I would likely need to dig. It's soil for a foot or so but beyond that it's clay.

As for running it out to the street, the sump is at the back of the house which is at the uphill side of a slight slope running in toward my back yard. The yard is graded to keep water away from my house but I only have about 25' of lot behind my house. The front would definitely be the place to put the water but wouldn't a surface pipe freeze? Plus it'd look crappy running down the side of the house I'd think.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:22 AM   #7
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Sump drains to sewer


Could you simply run a new pipe inside the basement?

I had to run mine across the basement to exit out the other side of the house---Basement is not finished so the work was easy.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:30 AM   #8
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Sump drains to sewer


The fact that your sump pump runs indicates that the groundwater level is higher than the sump pit floor. In order to even consider a leach field for the pumped out water, you need to do a topographic survey of your lot to determine the relative elevation of the proposed site of the leach field to the groundwater level. In general, outflow through the bottom of a leach field decreases the closer the bottom of the leach field is to the groundwater table, and since you indicated you are on clay soil, outflow is going to be very slow anyway.

Sump pumps are generally connected to the storm sewer system, and in most towns this is quite acceptable. Some towns have combined sewer systems (sanitary and storm flow in the same pipes), in which case connection may be prohibited. In a few towns, you cannot even connect to the storm drainage system. The only way to find out is to talk to your town official. Connection to a storm drainage system is going to be far superior to any leach system and/or surface drainage system you can come up with.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:14 AM   #9
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Sump drains to sewer


Just spoke to the city wastewater department who said that if it was already existing when I bought the house it's grandfathered in and will be fine to leave!

Guess I should have called them first. Off to buy a backflow preventer just in case and I'll leave it as is.

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