Recently, an inspection of the District was conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) in order to minimize Sanitary Sewer Overflows. In the subsequent report issued by the EPA, certain actions were mandated to the District such as removal of illegal connections to the sanitary sewer system
(plumbing) by residences, businesses and places of public assembly having these conditions.
Historically, property owners in Atlantic Beach and surrounding areas did not obtain permits for basement sanitary fixtures. Over the years, some homes were modified and have installed sanitary fixtures (toilets, showers, sinks, washing machines) without permits from the municipalities with jurisdiction. As homes are sold and ownership transferred, some new owners may not be aware a problem exists. Consequently, there is a potential that sewage backflow may occur where flood level rims of those fixtures are below the elevation of the nearest upstream manhole cover of the public sewer system. The District recommends that no fixtures be installed in basements as the risks are too great. At a minimum, any property owners having the above mentioned conditions should have a backwater valve installed to the plumbing serving such fixtures so as to prevent raw sewage from flowing into the residence, business or place of public assembly. The District advises homeowners, businesses and places of public assembly to consult with a licensed plumber for an analysis of their sanitary system piping.
An illegal connection is one that permits storm related water from sources other than sanitary fixtures to enter the sanitary system plumbing in your house or business.
Illegal connections include connections of basement or other sump pumps, French and foundation drains, roof downspouts to the plumbing.
Rainwater and groundwater should be diverted to a dry well or open ground to be absorbed into the ground. Homeowners should check with their local Department of Buildings for specific local ordinances.
Storm water and other inflow to the District’s treatment works increase operating costs, have adverse effects on treatment efficiency and can cause unneeded and expensive plant expansions which may affect real estate taxes.
You may not have basement flooding due to fully charged sewers. But if your sump pumps or drains feed storm related water into the sanitary sewer, it may well be the cause of flooding in your neighbor’s basement.