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Proposed Ordinance Seeks to Address Sump Pump Issues in Charles City

March 18, 2019 10:44 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Charles City officials say a proposed ordinance will help homeowners with sump pumps keep their homes dry while also cutting down on issues coming from water draining onto city streets.

The ordinance would require all sump pumps to drain directly into storm drains, sub-drains or another collection spot, not onto the road. Monday night, the city council held a second reading of the proposal.

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"For quite a few years we've had requests from different individuals to discharge their sump pump discharge pipes to a storm sewer and that would require them to go across a city right-of-way," city engineer John Fallis said.

Homeowners are currently allowed to drain their sump pumps directly into storm drains, but each request requires council approval, Fallis said; the new ordinance would eliminate that step.

"What this will do is streamline the process, they can come in, get a permit from me, from the engineering department and they won't have to go through the council," he said.

Another issue the city hopes the ordinance will address is what officials call public nuisance issues stemming from water constantly pouring onto city streets.

"It is kind of an inconvenience when it's just always wet and in the winter it's iced and in the summer it's mossy and it is an inconvenience," Mayor Dean Andrews said. "Now with this ordinance, we do have the opportunity to have those people do something different."

Despite not receiving any written or oral public feedback, Andrews said he expects the ordinance to become a reality.

"A lot of people don't realize that this is even an option, and so by providing this option I think it's going to relieve some nuisances but it will also give people who have been looking for a way to discharge their sump pump in a reasonable way, it'll give them another option," he said.

The city will likely rely on complaints from residents to enforce the ordinance, though if city staff see someone not complying they may issue a fine.

The third and final reading of the ordinance and a vote on its implementation could come at an upcoming council meeting.

KAAL-TV

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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