Clean Water Removal

Clean Water Removal Financial Assistance Grant

The Utilities Department offers financial assistance for residents that wish to help in reducing Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO).  Money is available for disconnecting clean water connections to the combined and sanitary sewer such as gutter downspout removal and sump pump removal.

The owner must demonstrate that the clean water source is currently connected to a combined or sanitary sewer.  The Water & Sewer Division can assist with this effort by dye testing or smoke testing if necessary.  The owner must also receive at least two quotes for performing the work to remove the clean water source.  The City will pay $200 per Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) to remove the clean water source.

For more details about the program, contact the Utilities Department or the Water & Sewer Division.

How can citizens help the City’s CSO problem and improve water quality?

Citizens can help reduce potential Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) by removing clean water connections in the combined sewer and separated sanitary sewer areas.  Gutter downspouts and sump pumps contribute large amounts of storm water to the sewer system which contributes to the CSO event.  Below are some options on how to remove clean water from the sewer system and improve the water quality of our area.

Click here to view the Clean Water Removal Brochure

Splash gutter downspouts

The easiest solution is to remove any downspouts that are connected to the sewer and splash the water to a grass area, rain garden, rain barrel or dry well.  Property owners should verify that the downspouts are splashed away from the building foundation and the ground is sloped away from the building.  Also, do not direct the downspout to a neighbors property and cause issues with their drainage or foundation.

Sump pump discharge 

Consider removing the sump pump discharge from the sewer system and splash the water to a grass area, rain garden, or dry well.  Property owners should verify that the discharge is splashed away from the building foundation and the ground is sloped away from the building.  Do not direct the discharge to a neighbors property and cause issues with their drainage or foundation.  Discharging the sump pump onto a public sidewalk or direclty onto the street is not allowed.

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens may be an option for property owners to consider when removing clean water connections or wanting to improve the water quality of our area.  Rain gardens can be used in low areas that are naturally wet or where downspouts and sump pumps are directed onto the ground.  The plantings in the rain garden help to soak up the water and the soil allows for infiltration into the ground.  The following links have been provided which contain information, education, sizing, design, plantings, maintenance and other aspects of rain gardens.

NEO PIPE Rain Garden Manual for Homeowners

Wisconson Raingarden Manual – A How to for Homeowners

Central Ohio Rain Garden Initiative

Rain Barrels

Rain Barrels can be used to capture water from gutter downspouts.  This rain water can then be used for plantings or grass areas during dry conditions.  Also, the water is free and will save you money on your water bill.  Rain barrels should have a screen on the top to allow the water to be filtered and a spigot at the bottom for conneting a hose.  A downspout bypass can also be provided to allow the water to splash onto the ground when the rain barrel fills up.   Your local home and garden store may sell rain barrels or know of other local sources that sell them.  Also, below are some manufacturers that sell a variety of rain barrels.

http://www.nerainbarrel.com

http://www.raintainer.com/index.html

http://www.rainbarrelsandmore.com/

http://www.rainbrothers.com/rain_barrels.html

http://www.kentuckybarrels.com/RainBarrels.html

Dry Wells

This is an underground chamber or stone filled pit that temporarily stores water and allows the water to slowly soak into the ground.  They typically consist of a plastic barrel with holes in the sides and wrapped with filter fabric to prevent soil from getting into the barrel.  The exterior of the barrel is then filled with stone to allow the water to exit the barrel and infiltrate to the ground.  The dry well can be covered with dirt and grass with an overflow to the surface.  Dry wells need to be located away from the building foundation to prevent the water from traveling back to the foundation.  They should be located in grass areas or incorporated into landscaping with the ground sloping away from the building.  Your local home and garden store may sell dry wells or know of other local sources that sell them.  Also, below are some links to more information and manufacturers that sell dry wells.

http://www.thenaturalhome.com/drywellinstallation.htm

City of Ann Arbor – Dry Well

Controlling Urban Runoff – Metropolitan Washington – Dry Well

Maine DEP – Portland Water Authority – Drywells