Ensure Your Sump Pump Is Draining Outside Your Home

The City of Sioux Falls is reminding homeowners to ensure sump pumps are draining outside their homes.

“Improperly discharging sump pumps into the sanitary sewer system can result in sewage backups into homes,” says Mark Cotter, Director of Public Works. “It is illegal to attach sump pumps to floor drains or otherwise connect them to the City’s sanitary sewer system.”

Sumps pumps, which remove ground water from homes and businesses, should be discharged into yards or streets. Properly discharged water will enter the storm drainage system where pipes are designed to handle the larger water flows created by the sump pumps and rain runoff. The storm drainage system includes the City’s curb and gutter, storm inlets, large diameter drainage pipes, drainage ditches, and detention ponds, which ultimately discharge into the Big Sioux River.

The sanitary sewer system is designed to convey only water from toilets, sinks, showers, dishwashers, and laundry machines. The sanitary sewer system includes smaller diameter pipe that ultimately goes to a wastewater treatment plant before discharging into the Big Sioux River.

Placing storm water in the sanitary sewer system could lead to sewage backups in your or your neighbor’s basement. Therefore, it is illegal in the city of Sioux Falls to discharge groundwater from sump pumps, or any uncontaminated storm water, into the sanitary sewer. If residents are found in violation of these City ordinances, the City Code Compliance Officer may issue a citation with a fine.

For additional information on proper discharge of your sump pump, please visit the City’s Storm Sewer and Drainage website at siouxfalls.org/public-works/storm-drainage. Questions regarding sump pump discharge should be directed to Public Works Engineering at 605-367-8601.

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