Sump Pump Program

The Town of Billerica is introducing a Sump Pump Redirection Program starting in August of 2013, to reduce the number of pumps connected to the sewer system. The 3-phase townwide program is designed to locate and redirect sump pump discharges from the sewer system to another acceptable location.

Program Goals
The goal of the program is to allow property owners to keep their sump pump, but to disconnect it from the sanitary sewer. The Department of Public Works continues to document a high number of sump pumps connected to the sewer system which increases flows to the Letchworth Avenue wastewater treatment plant. View the Sump Pump Redirection Program Brochure.

Sump Pump Incorrectly Discharging to Sanitary SewerPhase 1
Phase 1 of the program consists of a townwide survey to determine how many property owners have sump pumps and whether these pumps are connected to the sanitary sewer.

Phase 1 is currently underway and should be completed by the end of 2013.

Phase 2
In Phase 2, as soon as questionnaires are returned, the town will work with participating property owners to determine the most acceptable redirection option for sump pumps that are connected to the sewer.

Sump Pump Correctly Discharging to Ground or On-Site Infiltration BasinPhase 2 should run through early 2014, depending upon the number of property visits that are scheduled (click image at right to see diagram of incorrectly discharging sump pump).

During a property visit, the Department of Public Works will assess the existing sump pump system and, if it is connected to the sewer system, determine how to best redirect the discharge. The town has appropriated funds to begin the program as part of the Infiltration/Inflow (I/I) Program funding article at the 2012 Annual Town Meeting.

Sump Pump Correctly Discharging to Storm DrainPhase 3
Phase 3 will consist of the town working with each property owner to redirect the sump pump discharge, at low or no cost. Click on the image to the right to see correctly installed sump pumps. Participation in the program is voluntary.

Reducing Sewer System Backups & Overflows
Removing sump pumps from the sewer will reduce sewer system backups and overflows and lessen the strain on the wastewater treatment plant during heavy rain events. The sewer system and treatment plant are not designed to handle flow from sump pumps. A sump pump can contribute over 5,000 gallons per day of unwanted ground water to the sanitary sewer system.

Sewer BackupAn 8-inch sanitary sewer line can accommodate waste flows from up to 200 properties, but the sump pump discharge from only 18 properties will overload the same line, causing backups and overflows into basements.

Sewer backups and overflows are a public health risk and harm the surrounding environment, including the Shawsheen River and Concord River. Sewer backups can also lead to higher sewer bills and reduced property values.

Additional Information
Once the home owner has signed up for the program, the Department of Public Works sump pump team will set up an appointment to start the process. For further information or if you have any questions about the program, please view the Contact Public Works form, or call the Billerica Department of Public Works Engineering Division at 978-671-1300.