Sump pumps must discharge outside beginning April 1
Fine for not complying with ordinance is $100 per month
All sump pumps in West Fargo must have switched their sump pump discharge to outside beginning April 1, 2019. This regulation includes properties with sump pump variances for winter months. Properties found not in compliance with this ordinance will be notified and charged $100 per month until they are brought into 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 melt and flood season. Discharging outside helps to ensure the sanitary sewer system does not get overwhelmed during spring melt and storms with heavy rains, which can lead to 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 coordinating with neighbors to ensure sump pump water isn’t causing problems for them. Most problems can be resolved by simply moving hoses and diverting water to a different area.
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.
Trenching your sump pump hose into the ground, under the sidewalk and to the curb, is a popular way to hide the sump pump hose and discharge water to the street and is allowed by the City of West Fargo. To begin this project, contact the City of West Fargo public works department for an excavation permit. No fee is required for the permit, but any damage done to the sidewalk or curb during the project must be repaired by the homeowner and inspected by the public works department to ensure it meets city specifications.
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.