Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of the project?
Since the mid 1970's the EPA has been enforcing the Clean Water Act. One goal of that act is to remove clean water (I/I) from municipal sanitary sewer systems. This project involved a Township wide study to determine where in the Township we are seeing high sewer flows during rain events. The major remaining cause of Inflow entering the sanitary sewer system appears to be sump pump and footing drain connections. Based on this the Township is initiating a "Sump Pump and Footing Drain Disconnection Program" (SPFDDP) that will work with homeowners to disconnect these clean water sources from the sanitary sewer at no cost to the homeowner. The formal results of the study will be presented in the Project Plan that will be available for public viewing starting on February 23, 2009 and discussed at the Public Hearing on March 24, 2009.
What will I as the homeowner be asked to do?
As part of this program, you will be asked to allow the Township Staff or Engineering Consultant along with a contractor(s) to view your basement to determine if your sump or footing drains are connected to the sanitary sewer. They will determine what would be necessary to disconnect your sump pump and/or footing drains from the Township's sanitary sewer system. This may result in the installation of a sump pump in your basement if you don't already have one, along with the installation of sump pump lead to the roadside ditch, roadside storm sewer or another outlet such as a county drain. If it is determined that your sump and/or footing drains are not connected to the sanitary sewer you will not be required to do anything.
What will be my cost as the homeowner for this project?
There will be no cost to participating homeowners. The Township obtained a Grant for the current study project, which resulted in no cost to any residents. The "Sump Pump and Footing Drain Disconnection Program" (SPFDDP) will have no direct cost to participating homeowners. The Township will pursue funding from another Grant through the Federal Stimulus Program or a low interest loan through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). In either funding mechanism, it has been discussed on the Township level, that there will be no additional cost to the homeowner if they allow the Township to perform the work within the project timeframe. If the homeowner does not allow the Township to perform the work during the project timeframe, it will be the homeowners cost to disconnect their sump pump and footing drains prior to sale of their home.
How can the Township afford to do this program?
The removal of all footing drains and sump pump connections in the township is currently estimated to cost just less than $11,000,000. The first phase of the program is scheduled to cost up to $3,680,000.00 and the Township will be applying for low interest loans and grants to pay for the work. For the last 8 years the Township Sanitary Sewer Budget has included between $300,000 and $500,000 each year for Inflow and Infiltration work. The cost for the first phase of the program is anticipated to be between $200,000 and $250,000 each year and will be paid from this line item in the budget.
How long does construction last? How dusty is it? How disruptive?
Construction typically lasts for 2-3 days. Contractors protect flooring and hang protective plastic to minimize the mess. There may be concrete removed and this can generate dust and is noisy.
What does restoration mean?
Restoration inside the home means returning the home to the level of finish it had previous to the work. Concrete is replaced and smoothed, tiles are replaced with a closest match of available tile and the work site is cleared and cleaned. Outside the home, holes are filled in and grass seed is sown.
Why do I need to have this done and not my neighbors?
In some cases buildings that are nearby may not have footing drains or sump pumps connected to the sanitary sewer. All buildings that have connected footing drains are scheduled for SPFDD work over the coming years. The schedule is being established on a priority basis to disconnect the homes identified as needing protection from future basement backups and to accommodate a cost efficient installation process within a neighborhood.
I get water in my basement now. Will this solve that problem or make it worse?
This work will only address basement water problems that are caused by heavy rain events resulting in basement backups through floor drains. It will not improve or worsen other causes of wet basements such as leaks through cracks in basement walls or floors due to poor site drainage and/or poor or blocked footing drainage pipes.
Will my floor drain still work?
Yes. Footing drain disconnection does not affect the functioning of the floor drains. If there is a floor drain that goes to your footing drains it must be abandoned by plumbing code.