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Everything in the sanitary sewer system goes to the Town's wastewater treatment plant. The size of the treatment plant, as well as all the pipes in the sewer system, are sized based on the number and type of customers connected to that system. The Town recently completed a $40 million dollar upgrade of their wastewater treatment plant to increase its capacity to 5.3 million gallons per day. However, even with this expansion, the plant can receive more wastewater than it can handle during heavy rains. People don't use their sinks and toilets more when it rains, so all that increased flow in the sewer system is coming from inflow and infiltration. If the sewer pipes or the treatment plant receive more flow than they can handle, then untreated sewage backs up into houses and overflows into streets and streams.
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Both words are used to describe "clean" rainwater entering the sanitary sewer system but they refer to different ways that the water gets into the system. Inflow means water that enters through improper connections (i.e. gutter downspouts tied into sewer lines), or surface openings (i.e. broken cleanout covers, manhole lids). Infiltration refers to ground water that gets into the system through cracked or broken pipes below the ground.
No. Sump pumps are designed to collect ground water from around basements and foundations and that water is considered "clean" and does not need to be treated like sewage. Sump pump lines should drain to your yard - away from your foundation - or to the street.
No. Roof downspouts, like sump pump lines should drain to the yard - away from the foundation - or to the street. During a 1" rainfall event, an average sized roof can produce five times as much runoff water as a family of four would use in a day.
Check your gutter downspouts and/or sump pump to make sure they are not connected to the sewer pipe that runs from your house to the street. If your downspouts go into the ground and you don't see water flowing into the yard or through the curb when it rains, there's a chance they are connected to the sanitary sewer. You should always know where your sump pump drain is so you can keep the end of the pipe clear and avoid backups that may damage the pump. Also, if you know where the cleanout is on your sewer service line, make sure it has a tight fitting lid on it to keep rainwater out.
The Town regularly performs the following inspection and reduction measures: