Nobody wants to endure a sewer system backup into his home. Unfortunately, they happen more often as sewer system infrastructure in the United States ages. Combine age with storms that seem to produce heavier and heavier rains, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Combined sewer systems, which combine both wastewater from homes and stormwater from drains, still exist throughout the Northeast and Great Lakes regions of the United States. Overflows result from insufficient capacity to transport the wastewater and stormwater flows. Unfortunately, during heavy rain, this combined sewer overflow (CSO) can back up into the basements of homes and businesses, costing tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
Backflow prevention valves and catch basins have been typical solutions, but they have big drawbacks: backflow prevention valves, when engaged, prevent wastewater from backing up, but they also prevent wastewater from going out -- ie, the building's plumbing cannot be used. Catch basins can be overwhelmed by heavy rains, as the water goes to the sewer system anyway through manholes and other entry points.
A new best practice for preventing these CSO overflows and backups is installing a grinder pump station to handle the home's wastewater. How does it work, and where has this solution been used? Find out in Grinder Pumps for Basement Flood Prevention, which appeared in the October 2013 issue of Pumps & Systems magazine.
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