Speedway Asks Residents to Check their Sump Pump Connection

Announcement Date: 4/24/19

Speedway Asks Residents to Check their Sump Pump Connection

The Town of Speedway has launched a public education and outreach program asking residents to help identify and correct illegal sump pump and downspout connections. The Town hopes that this program will help educate its residents about the extra cost of illegal connections on wastewater customers, neighbors, and the environment.

“When water is illegally drained into sanitary sewer systems, we face challenges with inflow and infiltration,” said Jacob Blasdel, town manager. “The sanitary sewer system has a maximum capacity of wastewater that it can handle from homes and businesses. When capacity is met and the pipeline capacity is overloaded, that’s when we see basements flooding and wastewater overflowing into public waterways.”

The illegal connection of sump pumps and downspouts into sewage lines is an ongoing issue in Speedway. “In a neighborhood of 200 homes, it only takes six to eight sump pumps working full-time in wet weather to cause a backup into basements, streets, or waterways,” according to Blasdel. He continued to explain that during significant rainfall events, damage can be caused to homes and personal property from overflow. There are also many health concerns and environmental issues that occur when the overloaded sewage flow must empty directly into the river. 

Speedway resident, Jack Norris, is no stranger to the issues that can arise when the system is overloaded. “After a heavy thunderstorm with high straight-line winds, our sump pump could not keep up with the flow of wastewater coming up through the basement floor drains. We ended up with about 18 inches of raw sewage in the basement.” If cleaning up the mess wasn’t enough, Norris learned that the damage had gone even further. “The adjuster thought that drying out the water heater and furnace would suffice, but it was just like a car that’s been in a flood. Intermittently, parts of the devices started going out and within about a year we had to replace both.”

Since then, Norris has been an advocate for implementing a sump pump inspection program in town. “The bottom line on the illegal sump pump hook ups is that the consequences are major headaches for everyone with a basement after a storm. Sump pumps hooked up to the sanitary system can cause waste to backup into your neighbor’s basement and that’s not very neighborly.”

The Speedway Wastewater Department has offered to provide free inspections to its residents as a way of reducing the burden improper sump pump connections are placing on the wastewater system. “We are offering this service to help homeowners make sure they are in compliance with the Town of Speedway’s sump pump ordinances,” stated Norm Berry, Speedway wastewater superintendent. “In order to prevent pollution of our waterways, damage to residents’ property, and financial burden of an overloaded sewage system, we must begin to enforce these ordinances.” Berry says the town is expected to begin stricter enforcement of wastewater ordinances by the end of 2020.

Below are some answers to common questions being posed to town staff. For more information, or if you have an additional question, please call 317-246-4111.

Is the Town requiring homeowners to get an inspection?

No. The Town of Speedway is currently offering to help homeowners check their sump pump and downspout connections. We will provide a certificate of compliance for those homes that pass inspection.

Is the Town providing free inspections?

Yes. The Speedway Wastewater Department has offered to provide free inspections to residents of Speedway. Plus, if a problem is found, the Town of Speedway will waive the permit fee for work needing to be completed after the inspection for up to six months.  

What if my home doesn’t pass inspection?

If there are improper connections, you may be contributing to sewage backups and unnecessary water treatment, costing the town and wastewater customers.  If changes are needed, we will provide a permit fee waiver for any work needing to be completed by a licensed plumber for up to six months after your inspection.

What will happen during an inspection?

Inspections will likely last between 10-20 minutes. Clearing a path to access the sump pump will speed up the process. An employee from the Speedway Wastewater Department will arrive, inspect the connections, and either provide a certificate of compliance or recommendations on changes needed to the connections.

How do I set up an inspection?

Inspections can be scheduled online or over the phone. Please visit http://bit.ly/pumpinspection to schedule online or call 317-246-4111.

For more information, contact:
Kelly Buck, Director of Communication
P: 317-246-4120
C: 765-620-1603

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