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Frequently asked questions

How can I run my sump pump outside during the winter? It kills the grass and freezes the hose.

The first thing to do is make sure that your water softener is not connected to your sump pump. Softener discharge has a very high salt content that kills the grass and will leave stains on the concrete. Second, do not have a long hose connected during the winter. A hose that is 8 -10  feet long will get the water away from the foundation and will clear itself each time it discharges. Be sure that the hose lays on ground that slopes away from the house.  Check the hose so you are sure that the kids or the dog did not move the hose causing it to get kinked .  A good cover of snow will help to insulate the hose.  Spring thaws cause water to flow during the day and freeze at night. This may kill your grass. The same thing happens at your gutter downspouts. Quite often the grass will come back or you may have to re-seed a small patch in your yard.  Too much of anything is not good. Move the hose often during the summer months.

Why is the City of Fargo so concerned with sump pump discharge into the sanitary system?

Our sanitary system covers an area 11.6 miles long and 4.7 miles wide. We are adding to this area each year. The City of Fargo  hired consultants to study the future sanitary needs of our city.  The studies found that sump pump discharge is a major contributor to the sanitary backups during the heavy rainstorms. They also found that Sump Pump discharge into the sanitary  sewer limits how far the city can grow. We must reduce the unnecessary clear water being  added to the system before we can accurately calculate the needs for future growth. Each neighborhood is designed to handle the sanitary needs for the number of people in that area. Adding clear water to the system reduces the design capabilities of that system.

Clear water must be processed with the same methods  used to clean our Waste Water. The quality of this water is strictly regulated and controlled by the EPA  and State Laboratories as it is put back into the river. It does not make sense to add clear sump pump water into the sanitary system where it must be treated. Clear water must be directed to the nearest storm drain so it can go directly to the Red River without being processed.  

I have a gate valve on my sanitary system. When I close it, I cannot get flooded by sanitary backup. Why should I care what others are doing?

If you shut your system down during a storm, you must be sure that your sump pump is going outside. You must also check  to see that your central air system and your water softener are shut down. Each of these systems put water back into the sanitary system while running. A shut gate valve on the sanitary system stops flow in either direction and may cause flooding in your home. 

You should also care because your insurance rates increase as the number of claims rises. A number of insurance  companies have stopped doing business in North Dakota because of high losses. Less competition increases rates.