The Dell Rapids City Council is asking the residents of Dell Rapids to remove sump pumps from pumping into the sewer lines. The issue was raised during the council’s regular meeting on Monday, July 2nd.
City Administrator Justin Weiland told the council that the city has seen a dramatic increase in the pumping rates to the new Waste Water Treatment Facility over the last few weeks after the heavy rains. Normal daily pumping from the main lift station is usually around 220,000 gallons daily in the summer months. That number spiked to nearly 700,000 gallons following the five-inch rain towards the end of June.
“The reason that we are getting those high flows is because of infiltration. We know we have infiltration into the system. When you got a big rain like that, you know everything’s coming in at once. That’s coming in because you have cracked sewer lines. You still have some man holes that have holes in the top of them. It’s just typical ways for I and I (intake and infiltration). Now when that rain goes away and that initial influx comes in, but you keep getting infiltration, that you can always identify as being sump pumps,” said Weiland.
The city was able to get away with sump pumps being pumped into the sewer because of the lagoons, and the city had the capacity to deal with that. However the city is now paying for energy costs associated with treating all of the infiltration from sump pumps at the treatment facility.
The city put a note on the latest water bills that were just sent to the residents asking for sump pumps to stop pumping directly into the sewer system. Administration will also be working on ways of finding and correcting sump pump violations
“When we’re now paying to treat all that, we got to try to eliminate as much of that as possible at this point,” Weiland noted.
According to city ordinance, depositing sump pumps into the sewer system is illegal.