Peshtigo city leaders plan to crack down on sump pumps

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PESHTIGO, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources advised Peshtigo to ensure sump pumps in home and businesses aren't draining into the city's sanitary sewer system.

This comes after the system has backed up twice when overburdened with heavy snow melt and rainfall.

In a few weeks home and business owners in Peshtigo will notice a letter on their doors saying sump pumps should not be connected to the city's sanitary sewer.

Public Works Director George Cowell said the sanitary sewer is getting backed up and poses a plumbing code violation.

"Problem is all that clear water overtaxes our river crossing and we can't get the water to our sewage plant to treat,” Cowell said.

Officials said sump pumps should be connected to the storm sewer system, a ditch, drain or the yard.

Cowell said the significant snow and rainfall we've received have had an impact on the system as well.

"The river from upstream was also at flood stage,” said Cowell.

After letters are left on doors, public works officials will go from house to house checking sump pumps and making sure they aren't connected to the sanitary sewer system.

"We do have to correct it because we can't be discharging waste water on to the ground at that's a violation of our permit with the state,” said Cowell.

Cowell and city leaders plan to meet soon to draft an ordinance for the problem.

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