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Thread: Grey Water Pump

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Posts
    11

    Question Grey Water Pump

    Hello All: I am going to give you the scenario and how I would write this deficiency up, but I'd like to hear some other people's thoughts on this. The one thing that I've already confirmed with a plumber is that there is no such thing as a gray water pump. I graywater pump is typically a normal sump pump. A sewage pump would be needed if a toilet were draining into the pit. Here is the scenario:
    The home has a Sumpit in the basement that the interior perimeter drainage tiling system drains into as well as the washing machine, laundry sink, & basement shower. There is a sump pump that pumps everything to the septic system. This pit is also open. My personal opinion is that there should be a new pit installed to drain the perimeter tiling to so items are separated. My concern would be that heavy rains or snow thaws would cause the sump pump to run more often and back up the septic system. I would also recommend a licensed plumber evaluate the situation. The grey water pit should be sealed as well. Keep in mind that everything is functional at time of inspection & there is a backup alarm on the septic system.

    I am curious to how other people would write this because what their agent is telling me is that the other home inspector who called out this deficiency only stated that the sump pump should be a gray water pump and it need to be sealed so you don't smell the odor.

    The problem is is that they can't find a gray water pump that's different that what's already there.

    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,547

    Default Re: Grey Water Pump

    Google sewage ejector pump. That may be what the other inspector was referring to.

    Right, no ground water allowed. That groundwater should flow to a separate storm drain system.

    - - - Updated - - -

    , as you said.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Grey Water Pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Stolba View Post
    Hello All: I am going to give you the scenario and how I would write this deficiency up, but I'd like to hear some other people's thoughts on this. The one thing that I've already confirmed with a plumber is that there is no such thing as a gray water pump. I graywater pump is typically a normal sump pump. A sewage pump would be needed if a toilet were draining into the pit. Here is the scenario:
    The home has a Sumpit in the basement that the interior perimeter drainage tiling system drains into as well as the washing machine, laundry sink, & basement shower. There is a sump pump that pumps everything to the septic system. This pit is also open. My personal opinion is that there should be a new pit installed to drain the perimeter tiling to so items are separated. My concern would be that heavy rains or snow thaws would cause the sump pump to run more often and back up the septic system. I would also recommend a licensed plumber evaluate the situation. The grey water pit should be sealed as well. Keep in mind that everything is functional at time of inspection & there is a backup alarm on the septic system.

    I am curious to how other people would write this because what their agent is telling me is that the other home inspector who called out this deficiency only stated that the sump pump should be a gray water pump and it need to be sealed so you don't smell the odor.

    The problem is is that they can't find a gray water pump that's different that what's already there.
    Your opinion is correct. They may not be called grey water pumps, but around here I often see drain pumps used to handy water from basement utility sinks. The good ones have a sealed reservoir that sits below the sink and an internal pump operated from a float switch. The cheap ones are just a pump mounted on the drain piping and operated either by a pressure switch or a manual switch.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Grey Water Pump

    What is the coded reference that does not allow ground water (drain tile and sump pump) and house water (sewage ejector pump) to be discharged from the same pit with the same pump?

    Plumbers around her use gray water=house water/sewage all the time.

    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: Grey Water Pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lamb View Post
    What is the coded reference that does not allow ground water (drain tile and sump pump) and house water (sewage ejector pump) to be discharged from the same pit with the same pump?

    Plumbers around her use gray water=house water/sewage all the time.
    First off Mike Lamb, I'm guessing you missed the Septic System reference. However, if you think on it, if you've combined foundation drainage with other you just have dilluted other (so-called 'gray water') and now, more of it. It matters where its going - and in this case to the septic tank (and if not - that's another problem).

    The applicable code in Iowa is Iowa Administrative Code 7/11/12, Environmental Protection {567} Ch 69.
    Chapter 69
    PRIVATE SEWAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEMS

    I'll snip just enough to make a minimum (duh!-type) case:

    567--69.1(455B) General
    69.1(2) Definitions
    "Foundation drain" means that portion of a building drainage system which is provided to drain groundwater, not including any wastewater, from the outside of the foundation or over or under the basement floor and which is not connected to the building drain.

    567--69.8(455B) Primary treatment --septic tanks
    69.8(1) General requirements.
    a. Septic tank required. Every private sewage disposal system shall have as primary treatment unit a septic tank as described in this rule. All wastewater from the facility serviced shall dischrge into the septic tank (except as noted in paragraph "d" below).
    d. Prohibited wastes. Septic tanks shall not be used for the disposal of chemical wastes or grease in quantities which might be detrimental to the bacterial action in the tank or for the disposal of drainage from roof drains, foundation drains, or area drains.

    Next, as you're from Chicago, an old city with archaic sanitary system which combines storm water, does a poor job of managing same when high volume rain events occur, and often spills untreated into their drinking water supply (Lake Michigan), know that the situation there is unlike the vast majority of the US.

    Even in Chicago, subjecting a foundation and its dewatering system intentionally to backflow contamination of wastewater and the detrimental effects of same, intentionally and "by design" is not only unwise, it is not allowed. Riser pumps for gray water must still be contained. Even in Chicago you're not allowed to pump your laundry water or shower water outdoors upon the ground.

    If they were too cheap to hire a plumber for the DIY basement shower and too cheap or stupid to install a proper vented enclosed pump for the 'gray water' (dumping it into the foundation sump) what makes you think the foundation drainge system has been checked from the open sump pit (in the first place)?

    The distinction with a difference on the various lifters (no toilet downstairs question) is whether or not the enclosed and vented riser pump sump must also contain a grinder.






  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: Grey Water Pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Stolba View Post
    Hello All: I am going to give you the scenario and how I would write this deficiency up, but I'd like to hear some other people's thoughts on this. The one thing that I've already confirmed with a plumber is that there is no such thing as a gray water pump. I graywater pump is typically a normal sump pump. A sewage pump would be needed if a toilet were draining into the pit. Here is the scenario:
    The home has a Sumpit in the basement that the interior perimeter drainage tiling system drains into as well as the washing machine, laundry sink, & basement shower. There is a sump pump that pumps everything to the septic system. This pit is also open. My personal opinion is that there should be a new pit installed to drain the perimeter tiling to so items are separated. My concern would be that heavy rains or snow thaws would cause the sump pump to run more often and back up the septic system. I would also recommend a licensed plumber evaluate the situation. The grey water pit should be sealed as well. Keep in mind that everything is functional at time of inspection & there is a backup alarm on the septic system.

    I am curious to how other people would write this because what their agent is telling me is that the other home inspector who called out this deficiency only stated that the sump pump should be a gray water pump and it need to be sealed so you don't smell the odor.

    The problem is is that they can't find a gray water pump that's different that what's already there.
    Contained and vented. See my post immediately above.

    Furthermore, see https://www.legis.iowa.gov/DOCS/ACO/IAC/LINC/Chapter.567.69.pdf

    If the home is a bankruptcy sale or foreclosure or other exempt from County-Sanitarian inspection REQUIREMENT strongly recommend the buyers still acquire a sewage disposal system inspection from a regulated sanitarian. What you describe is a health violation, a private sewage disposal system violation, likely these "ammendments" are taxing the system, an expenxive correction and there is also the likely possibility of the foundation drainage system having been contaminated.

    I would refer them to: Private Septic Systems and as for "finding the right pump/lifters - easily found. Calculations are necessary to determine the capacity/volume/etc. required. Such are sealed and vented. I would tell them to consult a plumbing contractor after consulting with a septic system designer and sanitarian.



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