At tonight's groundwater meeting, and as a side note, I described a municipal/city water-powered backup sump pump system that does not rely on electricity or battery power. Unfortunately, a well functioning electric-powered sump pump means the difference between a wet or a dry basement for many of our homes in the Single Family Village. If your home loses electrical power or if your primary pump mechanically fails does your home have a backup system to remove the groundwater from your sump basket and prevent flooding? Many residents have thought carefully about that scenario and purchased a separate battery-powered backup sump pump system. Problem is, I've seen statistics that estimates the effective service time of a battery-powered backup sump pump to last between 2-10 hours. My question is: What happens if an electrical power outage lasts longer than that? What happens if the power is disrupted by a storm that brings additional rainfall?
My intent is not to scare residents into buying something they don't need. Rather, I think that there are a few good options that deserve a closer look including more sophisticated battery systems, alarms, etc. In the spirit of preparedness I'm sharing what I've found through a few conversations and some internet research.
I know of one resident who installed a city water-powered sump pump system, (I haven't yet) and I have spoken to a licensed plumber about similar systems. One plumber's estimate I received was $800 (installed) for a fully separate and redundant (a good thing in this case) water-powered backup system, including separate pipes, separate holes through the wall, and separate discharge point from my home. The plumber offered a group discount if more residents were interested. I suspect any plumber might offer a similar discount. For mechanically inclined residents, it may be a do-it-yourself project. In any case, a City of Hugo permit may be required... be sure to check first.
I found a particularly helpful video on This Old House's website (link here) that showed the installation of water-powered sump pump. It described the concepts as well as the materials needed. Please keep in mind that I'm not endorsing any brand, contractor, or design. I do think it's important information though, as residents consider future groundwater drainage systems. I've included a few links that might provide a starting point for those interested:
Explanation of the water-powered backup sump pump:
Water-powered and Battery-powered backup systems compared:
Water-powered backup sump pump:
Sophisticated battery-powered backups:
I hope you'll find this information helpful,