Switch sump pumps to ‘summer mode’

Duane Hicks

The town is asking residents to check the sump pumps used for their weeping tile systems in their basements and make sure they are not discharging directly into the sanitary sewer system.
Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown said yesterday that it’s time to put those sump pumps into “summer mode.”
This means having your sump pump outputting water four feet from your house and onto the road, where it goes to the curb, into the catch basins, and eventually into the river.
Not putting your sump pump into summer mode means you’re continuing to put water into the sanitary sewer system, thus increasing the burden on the sewage treatment plant, he added.
This is in contravention of a municipal bylaw.
The sewage treatment plant normally has flow rates of 4,000-4,500 cubic metres a day.
Brown said that on Sunday, April 28, due to the considerable snow melt that weekend, that flow increased to 12,000 cubic metres.
“Since that time, the plant is still running around 10,000 cubic metres, and I am only manufacturing water at 3,800 cubic metres a day,” he noted.
Brown said the system has a capacity of 25,000 cubic metres, “but why treat water for no reason?”
“It’s been high since then [April 28]. What’s happening?” he wondered.
“We haven’t had any rain, not really, so all it is is the groundwater recharging or surface water getting into the sanitary [sewer],” he reasoned.
“I know sumps are kicking in all over the place,” Brown said. “You see some people who have been doing their due diligence, throw [water] into the town’s gutter, and we’ll take it through our storm sewer, no treatment required.
“And then there’s other people that don’t flip over.”
In other news, the town’s student workers began work Monday.
Due to budget cutbacks, there is one less student in Public Works and one less seasonal worker hired on for Parks, noted Brown.
As well, the Parks crew is now maintaining the St. Francis Sportsfields.
Previously, the Community Services division was responsible for cleaning the washrooms and painting the lines on the soccer and baseball fields.
On the plus side, the town no longer has to tend to the old library property after it was purchased by the clinic.
Workers right now are picking up leaves and getting rid of all the winter sand.
The town’s street sweeper also is running two shifts. Brown noted property owners are welcome to sweep the winter sand off the boulevard and onto the road, as this is the time to do it.
When the frost comes out of the ground, it shifts watermains, so Public Works has had to repair two leaks—one on Mowat Avenue and one on Crowe Avenue.
Public Works also has put out pylons in a few spots where sinkholes have occurred, meaning they’ll have to do storm sewer repairs, in addition to some sanitary sewer fixes.
The town is in the process of awarding the tender for a contractor to patch streets.
Crews also will be cleaning ditches, and line painting and dust suppression in back lanes also will be jobs to do in the next two months.