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All sump pumps in West Fargo must switch their sump pump to discharge outside beginning April 1, 2020. This regulation includes properties with sump pump variances for winter months. Properties found in violation with this ordinance will be notified and charged $100 per month until they are confirmed to be in compliance.
The City of West Fargo requires this action to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirement to have separate stormwater and sanitary sewer water systems. This is especially important during this year’s spring flood and anticipated high-water conditions. Sump pumps discharging outside help to ensure the sewer system does not get overwhelmed during snow melt and heavy rainstorms as well as minimizes risk of sewage backup in properties and sewage water getting partially treated before emptying into the Sheyenne River.
It is very important that the sump pump water diverted outside drains away from the building to prevent any recirculation. The city recommends discharging into backyards and coordinating with neighbors to ensure sump pump water isn’t causing problems for them. Simply moving hoses and diverting water to a different area can resolve most problems.
Additionally, sump pump drainage hoses cannot cross sidewalks or be placed in a way that allows the water to pool on sidewalks. Both of these scenarios are safety hazards and considered illegal in the City of West Fargo.
Residents are also able to apply for a sump pump variance during the winter months to discharge water from the sump pump into the sanitary sewer system. The variance is only valid from Nov. 1 to March 31 of every year and costs $50. Property owners must obtain the variance and pay the $50 annual fee every year. The fee can be paid with the variance application or added to a utility bill. The sump pump water must be diverted outside during the remainder of the year.
If you have questions or concerns about discharging your sump pump outside, please contact Public Works at (701) 433-5400.