Flood Prevention Tips
Flood Prevention Tips
Here are a few tips which can help prevent basement backup problems:
- If you have a rain gutter or sump pump connected to a sanitary line simply disconnect it, and let the water discharge onto the lawn. These connections are directly contributing factors to the sanitary sewer flood backups.
- There are over 5000 manholes and catch basins going to the sanitary district. During a rain event, there is just not enough manpower to cover all of these. So we ask you the public to lend a helping hand. If you see a drain along the curb line covered in debris, simply clear out the debris in front of the manhole so water can flow into the drain.
- If you have any questions on sump pumps or downspouts call us at East Chicago Storm Water Quality Management Department 219.391.8466, and we can do an inspection for you.
Five Reasons Downspouts Must Be Disconnected
- Downspouts connected to the Combined Sewer System (CSS) of East Chicago also deposit leaves, twigs, paper, plastic and other miscellaneous debris which can block a combined sewer leading to sewer back-ups.
- During major storm events, direct storm water flow from downspouts to the CSS of East Chicago can exceed the capacity of some sewers leading to residential storm water and/or sewage back-ups.
- During minor rain events, direct storm water from downspouts to the CSS of East Chicago means increased treatment and operating expenses to the District, which in turn are reflected in higher sewer user rates for all residents, business owners and industrial customers.
- It's the law according to Ordinance Number 2835. For help and/or assistance in disconnecting your downspouts, call the East Chicago Sanitary District at 219.391.8466.
- Those who do not disconnect burden the pipes, burden the CSS, jeopardize their own personal belongings and jeopardize the belongings of their neighbors.
- What are connected downspouts and sump pumps?
Many older homes have gutters and sump pumps connected directly to the sanitary sewer. This means that rain from the roof and ground water from the pumps runs directly into the sewer. Not all downspouts are connected to the sanitary sewer, some may discharge into a storm drain. Contact Stormwater Management at (219) 391-8466 to find out if your connected downspout and sump pumps discharges into the sanitary sewer.
- Why are backups a problem?
The problem is too much water. Sanitary sewer systems can only handle a certain amount of water. During a rainstorm, water gets into the sewer from connected downspouts and sump pumps. In a neighborhood of 200 homes it only takes six to eight sump pumps working full time in wet weather to cause sewer backups. When there is too much water for the system, the excess has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is often somebody's basement, a manhole, or the Grand Calumet River.
The City of East Chicago has a legal requirement, (Ordinance Number 2835) which was passed on May of 1964 to stop rain water from flowing to our sanitary sewers. With an increase in water flow, this becomes a problem, because the wastewater treatment plant has to treat the extra water.
- Why should I care about backups?
Sewage overflows are messy, costly, and a threat to health and the environment.
The Sanitary District ends up treating the extra water. The utility may also have to pay fines when raw sewage is released to the environment.
- What can I do to prevent backups?
Disconnection is usually a simple, relatively inexpensive process. Stormwater Management will be able to tell whether your downspouts and sump pumps are connected to the sanitary sewer.
If you are not familiar with plumbing work, please contact a licensed and bonded plumber or Stormwater Management for assistance at (219) 391-8466.