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Sump Pumps

Sump pump systems are designed to capture surface or ground water that enters basements or crawl spaces and pump it away from the house. Cross connections (when sump pumps discharge into the sanitary sewer system) are against Village of Kenmore ordinance, and pose economic and environmental problems.

Homeowners use sump pumps in their basements to battle moisture and flooding issues. The basic sump system includes drain tile, a sump pit (which extends below the slab and collects surface water that enters the basement/crawl space or groundwater that rises to the slab), a sump pump, a float or switch, and a drain line. The drain line should direct sump water out of your house and onto your yard to an approved location.


What Is a Cross Connection?

When a sump pump is connected to a sanitary sewer line, it is called a cross connection. Often, this is a hose leading from the sump to a laundry tub or a floor drain. Water that goes down any drain in your house leads to the sanitary sewer system and eventually ends up at a wastewater treatment plant, where it is treated before being released back into the environment.

Cross connections are a significant cause of inflow and infiltration and must be fixed and pass inspection before a property can be sold.


Why Is This Problem?

Sump pump water is what engineers call "clear water," most often rain water, ground water, or snow melt. This water flows directly into area streams, ponds, and lakes. 

Water from sinks, showers, tubs, toilets, and washing machines is wastewater and must be treated before it is discharged into the environment.

When Clear water, such as that from a sump pump, goes into the sanitary sewer system, it overloads the sanitary sewer system.  Since sanitary sewer water needs to be treated, there is additional costs to the Village which is passed onto our residents and businesses on your quarterly water/sewer bill.

Your sewer rates are based on our costs to the Town of Tonawanda Wastewater Plant.  Treating clear water is costly to everyone.


Redirecting Your Sump Pump Connection

Sump pumps should drain into the Village’s storm system and not the sanitary sewer system.  This is achieved through a direct a direct connection (a pipe from the house to the main storm sewer line.



Under Village Code, you are also required to have a bubbler installed.

A bubbler helps to more evenly disperse the sump pump water leaving your home.  As a result, water is less likely to collect on driveways and sidewalk.