A sump pump is designed to collect groundwater that seeps through basement walls and foundations. During wet weather, if the sump pump forces water into a sink or other direct connection to the property’s sewer service the water from the sump pump quickly enters the sewer, using storage and conveyance capacity of the sewer pipe. Roof drains collect rain water and if connected to a sanitary sewer use storage and conveyance capacity of the sewer pipe. Both conditions can cause sewer backups into your home or your neighbors. They lead to Combined Sewer Overflows to the river and an increase in cost of treatment. This cost is direct in the Millers Falls area because the wastewater from that village goes under the Millers river and is treated at the Erving WWTP . The Town of Erving charges for that service and there is a surcharge if flows go over a set point, which is currently the case. This is due to the increased rainfall over the past few years and the resulting high water table. By observation there is a constant flow of clean groundwater to the Erving WWTP from Millers Falls.
How to Correct this Problem
1. Determine what your sump pump collects and where it outlets. If your sump pump collects any wastewater, such as from your washer or sink, contact the Town for further instructions. If only groundwater enters the pump, follow the instructions given below.
2. Redirect the pipe leaving your sump pump to the outside, possibly through a basement window. Replace the closest basement windowpane with a piece of plywood, sheet metal, etc. Cut a hole to match the size of the outlet pipe. Run the pipe through the hole and caulk any gaps between the pipe and the opening.
3. If no basement window exists, or is too far from the sump pump, drill a hole through the sill of the building (the vertical wood piece that sits on top of the foundation wall). Outlet the pipe through this opening, and caulk any gaps between the pipe and the opening.
4. Extend the outlet pipe as far away from your house as possible so water running off it will drain away from your building and windows. You may want to place a concrete or plastic splash pad at the end of the downspout outlet to prevent erosion. Try to avoid running water directly across sidewalks or other walkways. Once corrected the outlet pipe of your sump pump will exit your building, draining onto your property.
Other Creative Solutions
For those property owners interested in taking this project a step further, we offer these creative solutions.
Store the water in a trough and use it to water flower boxes and/or vegetable gardens.
You might also try storing the water in an underground tank fitted with a pump for access.
Your land may be suited for an underground dry well, a large gravel area that holds the excess water until it can be absorbed into the surrounding soil. ? You might choose to redirect the water by building a stone ditch leading to a flower bed or vegetable garden.
Not a gardener - Create a small pond, being sure to allow for overflow in the construction, or redirect the water to a natural drainage area.
What is Being Done in Montague to Remove I/I?
Over the last few years Montague has completed studies of the I/I within the Towns system. The Town has made repairs in response to the studies.