Knox Officials Struggle With Sump Pumps

Sump pumpSump pumps are creating an issue for the Knox Wastewater Department. Superintendent Kelly Clemons told the board of works last week the plant treats an average of 300,000 gallons of water per day in dry weather. She says amount more than doubles when it rains due to the number of gutters, catch basins and sump pumps tied into the sanitary sewer system.

The city’s ordinance prohibits the practice, but Clemons says it occurs all over town. She told the board of works last week she doesn’t know that anything has ever been done to move those home off of the sanitary sewer system and suggested education as the first step.

Clemons adds many property owners don’t realize their sump pumps are improperly tied into the system. Additionally the city’s options for inspecting homes for compliance are limited.

Mayor Dennis Estok says  telling property owners to disconnect their sump pumps from the sanitary sewer system will create another set of problems unless an alternative is offered for water runoff to keep it from flowing back into the house.

Clemons suggested finding a way to tie sump pumps into the storm sewer drains instead. Estok charged her with coming up with a solution to present to the board of works for consideration.