Sewer-related Rules & Regulations
NOTICE: CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP (2016)
Effective January 1, 2016, the Bucks County Water & Sewer Authority assumed the ownership and maintenance of the Springfield Township Sanitary Sewer System.
Illegal to Connect Sump-Pumps to Sewer
Please be advised that it is illegal to connect a sump-pump to the sanitary sewer system. A sump-pump connected to the sewer system discharges "clean" groundwater, normally during a rainfall event, into the sanitary system. This scenario presents two problems. First, the rainwater flowing through the sanitary facilities occupies a volumetric portion of the sewer pipe, preventing true wastewater from flowing efficiently to the treatment plant. When too many sump pumps are connected to the sanitary sewer system, backflow may occur through house drains and water closets. Second, rainwater discharged to the sanitary sewer system is treated in the same manner as wastewater. Township residents pay almost $1 million per year to have sewage waste, and any illegally discharged storm water, treated at wastewater treatment facilities. If you have a sump-pump in your home, please verify that it is not connected to the sanitary sewer system.
Also, if you have a floor drain in your home, please verify that it is not connected to the sanitary sewer system. Blockages within the sewer main rarely occur, however when they do, wastewaters will seek relief at the lowest point, usually a floor drain if one is present. For this reason the Township requires that you abandon or disconnect all floor drains from the sanitary sewer system.
Sanitary Sewer Caps Recommended for all Properties
In the interest of eliminating stormwater infiltration into the sanitary sewer system, Springfield Township recommends that all vented sanitary sewer laterals to be capped with a lateral insert. Inserts are generally available at all home improvement and plumbing supply warehouses. When properly installed the insert is extremely effective in preventing rainwater and other foreign materials such as sticks, stones, grass and paper from entering your sewer lateral. Excessive amounts of rainwater entering the sanitary system results in surcharging and may cause the system to back up into your home. Other foreign objects can inhibit the flow of sewage away from your home and create a blockage.
Backflow Prevention Devices Required for Below Grade Fixtures
Springfield Township's building and plumbing code requires all below-grade plumbing fixtures to be protected with backflow prevention devices.
Illegal sump pump connections and other sources of inflow sometimes can result in sanitary waste backing up into private residences at their lowest point of entry. Most back-ups occur during severe rain events and enter residences through utility washtub drains or basement lavatories. A backflow prevention device is an effective way to prevent sewage back-ups.
Backflow devices can be installed at individual fixtures or at the main house drain. They can also be activated manually or automatically (each has its own advantages and disadvantages). If you are unsure which type is the best for your home, please contact your plumber to obtain his or her advice. Please note that backflow prevention device must be installed by a registered plumber and a permit is required.
Township residents are encouraged to review their homeowners insurance policy to see if their property is insured against damages resulting from a sanitary sewer back up.