Sump-thing to Talk About

Sump pump systems are designed to capture surface or ground water that enters basements or crawl spaces and pump it away from the house. They are also used 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.

Sump pump water is what engineers call "clear water," most often rain water, ground water, or snow melt. This water can be discharged directly into the environment. Water from sinks, showers, tubs, toilets, and washing machines is "waste water" and must be treated before it is dis­charged into the environment.

During rainy/wet weather, clear water increases the flow through Middletown’s sanitary sewer system significantly. Why? Some homeowners discharge their sump pump water into the sewer system, either directly by pipe, or perhaps discharging the sump pump water into a utility sink.

Since sanitary sewer rates are based on the number of gallons that flow through the sanitary sewer system, treating clear water is costly to everyone. Cross connections (when sump pumps discharge into the sanitary sewer system) are against Town code and pose economic and environmental problems.

Not sure if your sump pump has been installed properly to meet town code, contact the Town office at 301.371.6171 and a town employee will stop by and check it for you.