ALBERT LEA, Minn. – Dry weather the last few days is probably allowing your sump pumps to catch up from all of the water they were dealing with, but area city leaders hope you were getting rid of it properly.
Many city ordinances, including Albert Lea’s, require that you pump your water from sump pumps outdoors, not into floor drains or sanitary sewer systems.
“A sump pump flows about the same as a washing machine or a bathtub emptying, and those are the highest flows that you’ll get from a residence. Obviously, that only happens a couple of times a day, however, a sump pump runs all day. So, the amount of water, extra water, that the system sees is just too great,” said Albert Lea Civil/Environmental Engineer Phil Wacholz.
It can actually cause the sewer system to become too full and back up into people’s basements, which actually happened during the recent rain storms in Albert Lea.
“Essentially those homes that are closer to lift stations down the stream on the line, their basements are at risk. You’re literally flooding out your neighbors if your sump pump is going into the sanitary during a storm event. That includes floor drains,” Wacholz said.
While most go by similar rules, each city is different when it comes to sump pumps. It is best to reach out to your city’s leaders to find out what you should be doing.