The Plover Municipal Center is located at 2400 Post Rd. (Metro Wire photo)

A word from Plover on recent heavy rainfall: Check your sump pumps

By Lyle Lutz

Sump pumps protect homes from water that accumulates along the foundation, keeping basement floors dry.

Sump pumps are less common in the village of Plover, compared to many other communities, because of the favorable soil conditions throughout the village. Many homes may not have one, but many homeowners/tenants may not be aware if they do have one.

Some areas of the Village rely on sump pumps to deal with occasional high groundwater conditions. This fact has become evident once again with the recent unusually high rainfall events.

Over the past several years, the Plover Wastewater Utility has experienced various precipitation and increased groundwater level events. These potentially have/are causing serious threats to the collection system from clear, clean water entering the system and exceeding the capacity of the system. The largest source of the water was from sump pumps discharging to floor drains.

The sanitary sewer collection system and wastewater treatment facility are not designed to handle water from sump pumps, leaking basements, rain gutters, or, surface water that floods basements. These sources of water are collectively referred to as stormwater.

The sanitary sewer collection system is designed to collect and treat water used for domestic uses such as cooking, cleaning, showers, and toilets. All household plumbing fixtures and drains, including basement floor drains, are connected directly to the sanitary sewer collection system.

The volume of water from domestic use is very predictable, and infrastructure is designed for that volume, plus reserve and future capacity.

Village ordinance prohibits stormwater from being directed to the sanitary sewer collection system, specifically to protect the integrity of the sanitary sewer collection system. When stormwater reaches household floor drains, the volume of water quickly exceeds the capacity of the system and sewage begins backing up in the collection system. Eventually, sewage will back up in the basements of homes.

Village ordinance requires sump pumps pumping clean water from foundation drains to be piped
outside the home to discharge on the ground.

Occasionally, a hose or piping breaks, a pump is replaced or added, and the pump discharge hose is put in the floor drain. Residents don’t understand the impact of their actions, nor realize the damage it could cause.

The water goes away…Out of sight out of mind, until sewage starts backing up into area basements because the sanitary sewer system was never designed to handle the extra volume of water.

The most important action you can take to help protect the system and prevent basement backups is to never run sump pump discharges to floor drains. If you have a sump pump, please check that it is operating properly, and discharging outside your home, not down the drain.

With your understanding and assistance, we can prevent the possibility of widespread damage due to the sewer backups in basements from excessive stormwater. If you are aware that your area is being impacted by the elevated groundwater levels, spread the word with your neighborhood, as to the potential impacts of sending excess groundwater or stormwater into the sanitary sewer system.

If a backup occurs, it could impact the entire neighborhood sanitary sewer system that you are connected to.

Village of Plover residents should feel free to call the village’s wastewater utility office with comments or questions at (715) 345-5259. Neighboring community residents who are impacted by the elevated groundwater levels and recent heavy rainfall events where sump pump operations are sustained should consult with your municipality on the ordinances on proper clear water discharges from sump pumps.

Lyle Lutz is the wastewater utility manager for the village of Plover. He can be reached at 715-345-5259.