Basement Valve Program

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1 Basement Valve Program The following is intended to inform homeowners connected to combined sewers of the options available to prevent basement backups from occurring following a rainstorm. A combined sewer is a sewer that collects both sewage and rainwater. Any building connected to a combined sewer has the potential to experience a backup during a heavy rain event. Under normal circumstances, the combined sewer system can effectively handle a light rain. For instance, in a situation where there is a heavy rain, water can accumulate in the street faster than the sewer pipes can carry it away. When a home is connected to an older combined sewer system, the potential for a backup during a heavy rain event exists.

2 Option A: Close Existing Openings The homeowner may choose to permanently close all the openings in the drain lines of their basement. This eliminates any possible sewage backflow into the basement but the homeowner also has to do without a basement floor drain or laundry standpipe.

3 Option B: Install a Simple Backwater Valve A backwater valve is a special type of check valve that is designed to work in drain lines. One of the drawbacks with this type of valve is that they tend to fowl, or collect debris, preventing them from shutting tight during back flow conditions. Some of the better quality back water valves come with an auxiliary gate valve. This gate valve can be shut when a backup event is expected but the homeowner must remember to do this in advance and whatever plumbing openings are being protected by the backwater valve cannot be used while the gate valve is shut. Please note: A backwater valve needs to be serviced annually to be effective.

4 The diagram below shows possible locations where backwater valves could be placed in basement drain lines. Unfortunately, this does not guarantee that a back up problem won t occur. Option C: Install a sealed Sump Basket & Sewage Ejector Pump If the homeowner wants basement plumbing fixtures and the assurance that there will be no sewage or water backup problems in the basement, the homeowner can install a Sealed Sump Basket and Sewage Ejector Pump. In this case, the sewage is then pumped into a drain line above the street level. Any plumbing opening below street level is absolutely protected from back flow due to rainwater.

5 Basement Valve Program The City of Elkhart passed Ordinance No on 08/05, establishing the Basement Valve Program. This program was developed to assist City homeowners with a cost-share program, which allows the installation of protective measures to prevent basement flooding during unusually rainy weather. To be eligible for the program, a property owner must meet the following criteria: 1. The property is a single-family residential property located within the City of Elkhart, 2. The property is being used as the residence of the property owner, 3. The property is connected to a combined sanitary and storm sewer line, and 4. The property owner has a documented history of sewage back-ups to their basement. Once the eligibility criteria have been established, the City will reimburse a homeowner up to 50% of the costs incurred to install an acceptable preventive measure (e.g. backwater valves), up to a maximum of $1,500. This program is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and it is not retroactive to homeowners who have already installed such measures. If you would like to participate in this program, please contact: Elkhart Public Works & Utilities 1201 S. Nappanee St. Elkhart, IN Ph. #

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