Sump Pumps

Keeping Rain Water Away From Your Home’s Foundation

How Does A Sump Pump Help My Home?

sumppump_diagramOlder homes were built before sump pumps were commonly used to direct rain water away from the foundation drain. In homes built before the 1960s, the foundation drain connects directly to the sanitary sewer. The goal of Blueprint Columbus is to keep rain water out of the sanitary sewer system so it will no longer fill up beyond its capacity and overflow into rivers or back up into basements. A voluntary sump pump program is one of the strategies necessary to achieve this goal and will bring participating homes up to current building standards.

How the process works

Agreement

Interested homeowners apply for the sump pump program and City staff will determine eligibility (see more about eligibility in the FAQ). Those eligible will enter into a written agreement with the City of Columbus authorizing the installation of a sump pump.

Install pit and pump

A hole measuring 2-3 feet deep and 2-3 feet wide is dug in the basement floor. The sump pit is installed in the hole and weighted down; the sump pump is then placed into the pit.

Direct water away from house

A PVC pipe is installed from the pump, through the basement wall, into a shallow trench leading to the discharge location (usually the street, but always at least 7 feet from the house).

Replace concrete around pit

The final step is to replace the concrete around the sump pit in the basement floor.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the City installing sump pumps in homes in my neighborhood?
Sump pumps keep rain water out of the sanitary sewer by directing it away from your home’s foundation and into a pipe that leads to the street where it can drain into the storm sewer system. The City is offering sump pumps to eligible homeowners in areas where a lot of rain water is getting into the sanitary sewer.
What is a sump pump?
A small pump inside a pit in the basement floor that directs water away from the home’s foundation, into a pipe that leads to the street. Sump pumps have been a standard requirement in new homes since the mid- 1960s.
Who is eligible for a sump pump?
Residents with a single family or duplex home that does not currently have a sump pump can apply for the program if the home is located in an area where the City is implementing Blueprint Columbus. The City will determine eligibility after investigating whether a sump pump would be a cost- effective application.
How does water get into a sump pit?
The foundation drain, which is a perforated pipe around the perimeter of the basement, collects ground water and directs it to the pit.
Can I choose my own contractor?
No, the City of Columbus will select and enter into an agreement with the contractor.
Where in my basement will it be installed?
The location of the sump pump is determined by mutual agreement between you, City staff and the City’s installation contractor.
Will this cost me anything?
There are no direct costs to the homeowner. Blueprint Columbus is a solution to a problem that affects the entire community and is being paid for with revenue from City sewer bills.
Will the sump pump keep my basement dry?
There is no guarantee that a sump pump will keep rain water from seeping into your basement. For example, a sump pump will not stop water from seeping into a basement through windows or walls. However, in most cases, a sump pump will improve a basement’s drainage.
Who is responsible for maintaining the sump pump?
Once installed, the homeowner will be responsible for maintaining the sump pump.
If the sump pump fails, who will replace it?
The sump pump will come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Once the warranty period is over, the homeowner will be responsible for replacing a failed sump pump.
What happens if the electricity goes off during a storm?
The sump pump will have a battery back-up.

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