Most Important Items Concerning Your Grinder Pump Sewer System
- Have an audible and visual alarm installed/maintained so you know when there is a problem.
- Have a plumber identified with a contact number so repairs are not delayed.
- Know where the sewer shut off valve is to your system and have a suitable wrench to operate the valve.
- Know where the water shut off valve is to your house.
- Verify rainwater is not intruding into your system.
- Know what not to flush or dispose into your sewer system.
- Understand that the system from the valve to the lake loop is GLOA responsibility and everything else from the valve to the house is the lot owner’s responsibility.
- All sewer leaks whether on the lot owner’s property or the main lake loop need to be reported to the GLOA office immediately. We are mandated to report all main loop leaks to IDEM and keep a record of all leaks on the lot owner’s property for IDEM.
Sewer Plant and Lake Loop Lines
The sewer system currently supports approximately 260 houses on Grandview. The plant capacity is 45,000 gallons per day (GPD). In the winter of 2016, the GLOA board signed a contract with Columbus City Utilities to manage and operate the GLOA wastewater treatment facility. This includes physical inspection, chemical analysis and all associated reporting pursuant to GLOA’s current NPDES permit and all operational tasks that are required by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).
The sewage is pumped by the lot owners’ grinder pumps through the lake loop and into the sewer plant. The only source of pumping is from the grinder pumps which means there are no lift stations or booster pumps. The lake loop is under pressure so the line will not allow water intrusion. If the line is broken, sewage will flow the path of least resistance whether to the plant or from a broken pipe.
Sewer Pump Information – What Not To Dispose Into Your Grinder Pump
Every new resident receives a New Lot Owner Orientation Packet which includes a list of items that should not go through a grinder pump. This is a service to help your new residence be more enjoyable and hopefully keep your family from incurring unnecessary pump repairs.
Items that should NOT go through your disposal are: egg shells, coffee grounds, celery strings, or anything that could tear up the rubber boot on your pump.
Only toilet tissue should be placed in your commode—nothing else such as Kleenex, paper towels or sanitary products.
There is a small metal box located somewhere in or on your house which has a red light in the middle. This light serves as an alarm for pump trouble. If it comes on, you should immediately turn your pump off and call for service.
If you experience a power outage, do not use water because the pump will not run. Below is additional information for all lake residents:
- Have a plumber selected for pump emergency service and know how to contact them.
- Know where the pump power shut off is in case the alarm goes off.
- An audible alarm is strongly recommended in addition to a light, especially if you are not at the property full-time.
- REMEMBER- IF YOUR PUMP FAILS YOU HAVE NO SEWAGE DISPOSAL.
- All sewer leaks from the shut off valve to the house are the homeowner’s responsibility to repair. Call David Warble, the Lake Manager, or a Sewer Board member with questions.
How To Check For Rainwater Intrusion Into the Sewer System
The Sewer Board is requesting that every homeowner be proactive and verify that their sewer system is not allowing rainwater intrusion. Possible sources for concern are foundation drains plumbed into the sanitary system and surface water flowing into the sewer sump pit. Please take a few minutes to perform the following:
- Check your downspouts to ensure that they drain outside and not into your sewer pit.
- Check the surrounding landscape around the sewer pit lid. Be sure that the water drains away from the pit and that nothing around the pit would block water flow causing backup into the pit.
- If the pit is buried or partially covered with dirt, uncover it and install a surface drainage system away from the pit.
- Check your pit to see if any other pipes are draining into the pit. Only the sewage drain pipe from your house should be there. If any other non-sewer type pipes are present, then they should be re-routed away from the pit.
- An important step is to monitor how much your sewer pump runs when it rains. It should only run when you use water in the house. During a moderate to heavy rain, go to your sewer pit to listen for your pump. If it is running with no interior water use, then it is receiving rainwater from one of the above sources.
If you need assistance to determine if rainwater is getting into your sewer pit, contact the GLOA office for additional advice or request assistance from a GLOA volunteer to come out and review your sewer configuration with you. This group effort to minimize the storm water intrusion will benefit all members of our lake community.
What To Do If Your Grinder Pump Alarm Goes Off
See if the sewer pit is overflowing, if so, shut off the water to the house.
An alarm usually means the level of sewage in the pit is at the high level which means the pump is not operating.
If you have the water shut off and no sewage is flowing from the pit or into your house, call your plumber.
If you have sewage continuing to flow from the pit or into your house, shut off the valve at the main loop connection to prevent the backflow of sewage onto your property.
If you have sewage flowing from the ground between your pit and the main loop, shut off the valve at the main loop connection to prevent the backflow of sewage onto your property. This will indicate there is a broken line in your system.
If you have sewage flowing at the main loop or on the loop side of the shut off valve, call the Lake Manager or a Sewer Board member. Time is of the essence with this type of leak so do not hesitate calling us.
Please note that all leaks whether on the lot owner’s property or the main lake loop need to be reported to the GLOA office immediately. We are mandated to report all main loop leaks to IDEM and keep a record of all leaks on any lot owner’s property for IDEM.
Know Where Your Shut Off Valve Is To The Main Line
Every lot owner should know where the sewer shut off valve is located on their property. It is typically close to the main loop of the system and provides a safety shut off to prevent backflow from the main line into your sewer lift pump station. Also be aware that one of the failure points in your grinder pump pit is the check valve. If the check valve fails, then sewage from the main loop will backflow into your pit and possibly into your house. Also if you have a pipe break between the safety shut off valve and your sewer pit, you will need to close the shut off valve.
GLOA is responsible for the main loop and the lot owner is responsible for the line tap connection and everything else to your house. Please note that you will need a long handled wrench to reach into the pipe sleeve to close the shut off valve. Make sure you have a wrench that is long enough. Menards has these wrenches for sale up to a 60 inch length. The office also has a wrench. When a problem arises, time is of the essence to shut off the back flowing sewage so it is imperative that you know where the valve is, how to shut it off, and have the proper tool to close the valve.
Next, please ensure you do not cover up the shut off valve and always maintain a marker for its location in case you are not at the lake and someone else needs to make an emergency shut off on your behalf. The same recommendation applies to maintaining your water meter pit with its shut off valve.