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Sewer Surcharges

Central City has a high water table which can create some problems for residents with basements during wet years.  We are frequently asked questions about discharging sump pumps into our sanitary sewer system.  This section will address the problems this practice can create for our City sewer system.

Q:  What is a sewer surcharge?
A:  Surcharging means that the sewer becomes overloaded from the infiltration or discharge of clean water from footing drains or sump pumps connected to sewer lines designated exclusively for sanitary sewage.

Q:  Why does this create a problem for the City?
A:  First, the volumes from sump pumps are dramatically higher than normal sewer use.  These volumes can overwhelm the sewer system, creating problems for others attempting normal sewer uses.  In some cases, residents have been unable to flush toilets or drain sinks and bathtubs because there's no capacity left for the wastewater.  This additional volume of clean water can also overwhelm the Wastewater Treatment Plant, which was not designed to handle these high volumes.

As an example, the Central City wastewater plant was designed to handle