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Even with the use of dry floodproofing techniques, water may enter a building during flooding events and from general basement leakage. Sump pumps discharge water collected in a small pit that extends through the building foundation from the basement out of the building and directly into a sewer. Internal drainage systems can supplement sump pumps by helping to capture wall and floor seepage. Sump pumps are powered by electricity, and backup generation or battery-operated backup may be necessary in the event of power outages during extreme storms. It is crucial to ensure that the sump pump has a properly sealed lid. Otherwise, moisture and other pollutants such as radon can enter the building’s basement and crawl spaces, leading to potential health problems and mold growth. Maintenance may be necessary to remove sediment and debris from the sump pit to prevent clogging.
Excessive inflow from sump pumps to sanitary sewer systems can increase the risk of sewer overflow in heavy rain events, which may result in sewage backflowing into the basement. As a result, Massachusetts has banned the discharge of sump pumps into the sanitary sewer system. A number of cities and towns around the state, including Waltham, Revere, and Braintree are currently providing free sump pump reconnections to single family homeowners.
Potential regulatory touchpoints in Boston and Massachusetts include: