Borough: Stop Pumping Water Into Wrong Sewer
Enforcement actions are possible, as is an educational campaign to avoid "sump pump wars."
Some borough homeowners will need to reconfigure their sump pumps or else face enforcement actions from the town to stop a practice that causes Madison to pay more for sewage treatment, borough officials said.
Borough engineer Bob Vogel said it appears about 100 Madison homeowners who use the North Street Pump Station have their sump pumps pumping water into the sanitary sewer instead of the storm sewer, a practice which ends up costing the borough extra money because Madison is charged by the amount it sends to the Chatham Joint Meeting for treatment.
During rainstorms, the volume going through the sanitary sewer line can triple from normal levels, Vogel said during Monday's Borough Council meeting.
"We can't afford to have that happen anymore," he said.
Estimates for the cost of treating the extra volume weren't available, but Councilman Rob Catalanello said sharing such figures with residents might make compliance easier. When residents do modify their sump pumps, they should do it in a way that doesn't exacerbate flooding for their neighbors, a possible situation Mayor Rob Conley called "sump pump wars." Conley suggested the town prepare information about the regulations and ways residents can pump water without flooding their neighbors.
Repairs to address water leaks into the sanitary sewer that contributed to the problem were completed, Vogel said.
The North Street Pump Station serves about 1,000 residents. A major overhaul of the station has been planned for years, and was pushed back in 2010 after a contract for the project was rescinded after issues about the company were raised. Residents have said they need to connect their sump pumps to the sanitary sewer line to prevent flooding.