Common Collection Systems
At every home, business, and industry there is a “private lateral” that conveys waste flows into the public mainline sanitary system. These lines flow predominately by gravity unless the topography makes it necessary for the installation of a “lift station”. A lift station does just that. It raises the liquid up and over a restriction until it can again gravity flow towards the facility for treatment.
Whitewater's Collection System
Of great importance to the entire system is the condition of the approximately 50 miles of buried sanitary mainlines and 9 lift stations located throughout the city. This system is not to be confused with the storm sewer system as they are completely separate. Along with this, homeowners should be aware that clear water discharges (i.e. sump pumps) are prohibited per city ordinance 16.14.570.
Improperly plumbed sump pumps cause especially large issues during periods of rainfall and snow melt. The result is hydraulic overloading of the collection system which increases the risk of backups and health hazards for you and your neighbors. Also, it unnecessarily adds to the treatment costs for the utility and ultimately could affect rates.
Sumps pumps should be plumbed outside into the lawn in a manner that does not conflict with existing drainage schemes. Or, they can be plumbed to the curb line for drainage into the storm sewer system. Variances to this are a possibility on a case by case basis. Additionally, residents should follow some basic guidelines to help maintain their household sanitary services. A “private lateral” which runs from the home to the utility sanitary main is the responsibility of the homeowner.
Tips to Keep Your Home System Running Correctly
The following is a list of helpful tips you can use to keep your home's system from causing you problems:
- Make sure downspouts are free of debris and are draining 4 to 6 feet from the foundation. These items help keep the water away from the home.
- Avoid putting grease down the drain system. It can solidify, collect debris and accumulate in your private lines.
- Never flush disposable diapers, sanitary napkins or paper towels down the toilet. They can inhibit flow and cause backup issues.
- “Backflow Valves” can be installed on a homeowners private lateral to help prevent backflow events.
- Be mindful when planting trees and shrubs as roots can cause plugging problems in private lateral lines.