City of Springfield, Illinois

James O. Langfelder - Mayor

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FAQs



   Sump Pump

Answer

No, sump pump discharges are not allowed to be discharged onto the street, sidewalk or curb. This can create icing situations during freezing weather and be a danger to pedestrians and motorists. Residents discharging to the street are in violation of City Ordinance Section 51.02 (m) and may open themselves up to liability from pedestrians and motorists if an injury occurs as a result of the violation.

Answer

No, connecting a sump pump to your sanitary sewer lateral is termed a “cross connection”. This is prohibited by City Ordinance Section 51.02 (k). The sewer fees paid are based on metered water usage. Sump pump water is unmetered water being transported and treated by the treatment facility which has not been paid for. In addition, sump pump water being added to the sanitary sewer system contributes to high flow rates in the collection and treatment system and can cause Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO) and basement backups.

Answer

Often times this is the preferred solution. The Office of Public Works reviews these requests on an individual basis. In order to connect to the storm sewer system you will need approval by the Office of Public Works and if the storm sewer is located in the right of way, you may need a street opening permit to perform work.

Answer

The most common sump pump discharge location is within a rear yard drainage easement. The Final Plat for your subdivision will show the location of all drainage easements. See the FAQ on rear yard drainage easements for more information.

Answer

Many newer subdivisions install underground pipes in the rear yard drainage easements for the purpose of connecting the sump pump drains. These pipes eventually drain to the storm sewer system. These community sump drains are not considered a public improvement and are not maintained by the City of Springfield. Maintenance of these community sump drains is the responsibility of either the individual homeowners or the homeowners association.

Answer

Yes. Often times either individual lot owners or homeowners associations install underground pipes in the rear yard drainage easements to allow residents to connect sump pump drains. This is a private line installed and maintained by the homeowners.

Answer

Yes, residents without rear yard easements or storm sewer pipes can manage sump pump effluent within their property. Often times this involves discharging the water within your property. The Office of Public Works recommends the discharge point be located in a non-paved area a minimum for 15 feet from the public right of way or half way between your home and the public right of way or neighboring properties.

Answer

Yes, often time homeowners can adjust the level of the sump pump in the pit to reduce the amount of water that is pumped out of the ground from below your home. Homeowner’s should contact their plumber or sump pump installer to investigate if this is an option for reducing the amount of water being discharged while still adequately protecting the home.

Rear Yard Drainage

Answer

Rear yard drainage easements are generally located along the common rear yard property lines of adjacent properties. Most often there is a specified width of easement on both sides of the common property line. This easement is in place to allow upstream properties (higher properties) the right to drain water through downstream properties (lower properties).

Answer

Rear yard drainage in the responsibility of the individual property owners. The City of Springfield does not maintain rear yard drainage easements. The Office of Public Works may be able to supply copies of the original construction documents showing how the rear yard was originally intended to drain. It is the responsibility of the homeowners to maintain or restore the rear yards to function as originally intended.

Answer

Talk to your neighbor, many times people are unaware they have blocked the flow of drainage. Rear yard drainage issues are most often governed by homeowners associations. Most covenants speak to situations concerning the alteration of drainage in the subdivision. The Office of Public Works approves the original design of the rear yard drainage easement. Alterations to the approved design may need to be approved by the Office of Public Works if the alteration affects public infrastructure.

Answer

It is not recommended, and may require approval from your homeowners association and/or affected adjacent properties. The rear yard drainage easement, typically located between properties, is usually the low point which will fill with storm runoff once the capacity of the storm sewer in that area is reached. By filling in this low area, there is potential for higher water levels to be forced onto adjacent properties which did not exist before filling in the easement. By altering the drainage patterns from the original design, owners may open themselves up to liability for damages to adjacent properties.