Sump Pumps

We Need Your Help

If you have a sump pump, check to make sure that it pumps to the outside of your home. Whenever possible, run the hose from the sump pump to the street. If you run it to your lawn, chances are that the water will just find its way back to your basement.

If you are not sure that your pump is connected properly, please contact the Wastewater Treatment Plant at 608-837-6292.

A sump pump hose running through a yard into a city street

Sump Pumps

Many homes in the city have a sump pump located somewhere in the basement. The pump is generally located in a corner of the basement and can be found in a concrete or plastic barrel or crock. This crock is typically about 18 inches in diameter and about 2 feet deep.


Water that builds up in the soil around the home flows into the crock through perforated drain tiles that are located around the house. The purpose of the drain tiles is to intercept the water before it leaks into your basement. When the water reaches a certain level in the crock, the sump pump turns on and lifts the water to the outside of your home.

A sump pump system in a residential basement

City Ordinance

By city ordinance, you are not allowed to pump water from your sump pump to the basement floor drain. That's because water pumped to the floor drain flows into the sanitary sewer system and uses up valuable capacity. During heavy rain events, 1 sump pump can discharge up to 10,000 gallons of water per day. This water can overload the sewer system causing sewer backups in your home and in your neighborhood.

Preventing Costly Expansion

This clean water also uses up valuable capacity at the Wastewater Treatment Facility and if not removed could require a costly expansion of the facility. The expansion would affect the pocketbooks of all city property owners.