The City of Greenwood has launched a campaign to encourage homeowners to be sure their sump pump is properly connected. If rainwater which is removed from a basement or crawl space with a sump pump ends up in the sewer system, it is unnecessarily filtered and processed, costing cities like Greenwood tens of thousands of dollars each year.
Whenever you flush the toilet, that wastewater is treated. But storm water is different. When it rains, that water doesn’t need to be cleaned.
"And it goes out at least10-20 feet away from the house, so it's getting the water away," explained Kelson Carter, of Carter's My Plumber, as he showed us a properly installed sump pump at a Johnson County home. "So it's just ground water. It's fresh ground water that's just getting pumped out and put back outside."
But many sump pumps divert rainwater into the sewer line.
"Then we, as a city, are paying to clean that clean water," said Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers, who said that wastes money and puts a serious stress on the sewer system.
"We estimate that during big downfalls of rain, like yesterday, when we had this huge rain, there could be at least a million gallons of water that gets into the sanitary sewer system," said Myers.
That's an additional $1,400 dollars for a single heavy rainstorm. And too much water in the sewer system leads to backups.
"The sewer can only take so much water at one time to treat and the rest of it's just going to back up the line. It will come up into people's houses. It can be very costly and disgusting," explained Carter.
Greenwood is hoping that homeowners who have their sump pumps improperly hooked up make a change - have a plumber come out and have it properly drained, in fact, the city has some grant money available to help make that happen.
If you'd like to take advantage of some of that grant money and you live in the City of Greenwood, call 317-887-4711.