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Basement Backup Grant


To prevent backup of sewage into homes and businesses and to remove active sources of inflow and infiltration to the sanitary sewer system

Program Information

Since 2007, the City has been actively removing sources of stormwater Inflow and Infiltration (I/I) from the sanitary sewer system by the rehabilitation of sanitary sewers, sanitary sewer laterals, and sanitary sewer manholes in the City owned Right-of-Way (ROW). This work is ongoing, as required by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) and the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) NPDES discharge permit.

Though tremendous strides have been made reducing I/I sources and their impacts to the WWTP within the City ROW, more work remains to be done, specifically on the private side of the sanitary sewer system. Connections of stormwater sources such as footer drains, perimeter tiles, downspouts, and sump pumps add millions of gallons of clean water to the sanitary sewer system annually. These stormwater connections are prohibited by OCO 925.26 “PROHIBITION OF UNPOLLUTED WATER” which states “No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged any stormwater, surface water, groundwater, roof runoff, subsurface drainage, uncontaminated cooling water, or unpolluted industrial process waters to any sanitary sewer.”The addition of this unpolluted water causes sanitary sewer backups into homes and businesses as well as sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) from manholes in the collection system. SSOs can cause significant environmental impact and are prohibited by the OEPA. See the I/I Reduction Program for further information about I/I sources.

This program builds upon the existing backwater valve grant program the City has offered since 2008. This program intends to cost share the installation of both improvements that prevent sanitary sewer backups into homes and businesses as well as improvements that will remove stormwater I/I sources from the sanitary sewer. Likely, these improvements can be completed together.

Program Reimbursement

Stormwater discharges to the sanitary sewer are illegal within the City of Oregon, as stated by Oregon Codified Ordinance 925.26 PROHIBITION OF UNPOLLUTED WATER:

“No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged any stormwater, surface water, groundwater, roof runoff, subsurface drainage, uncontaminated cooling water, or unpolluted industrial process waters to any sanitary sewer.” (Ord. 155-1977. Passed 8-8-1977.)

Oregon Sewer Ordinances

Correction TypeTypical Correction Example City Reimbursement MaximumOwner Responsibility
Protection of Basement FixturesInstallation of Backwater Valve on basement fixture/s$1,000.00Remaining cost of selected quote
Inflow / Infiltration RemovalElimination of basement floor drain and installation of sump pump to remove perimeter tile connection to sanitary sewer$1,000.00Remaining cost of selected quote
Program Procedure
  1. Obtain a Grant Application Packet from the Building / Zoning Division at the City of Oregon, 5330 Seaman Road, Oregon, Ohio 43616 or by calling (419) 698-7071.
  2. As needed, request a plumbing consultation from the City of Oregon Plumbing Inspector by calling (419) 698-7071 and setting up an appointment. The City highly suggests a consultation with the plumbing inspector in order to know what will be required prior to having a contractor quote the job. Also, the plumbing inspector can provide guidance with respect to your specific plumbing layout.
  3. Obtain a minimum of two (2) quotes for the planned work from contractors licensed to work in the City of Oregon
  4. Submit the quotes along with the Grant Program Application and a completed W-9 tax form to the Building / Zoning Division at the City of Oregon, 5330 Seaman Road, Oregon, Ohio 43616.
  5. Once the application is approved by the City of Oregon, work can begin. Completed work will need to be inspected by the City of Oregon Plumbing Inspector prior to reimbursement. Schedule a final inspection by calling the Plumbing Inspector at (419) 698-7071.
  6. Once the work has been inspected, the City will either reimburse the property owner for said work or pay the contractor directly. Any balance above the specified City Reimbursement Maximums for each tier are the responsibility of the property owner.
Typical Accepted Plumbing Alterations

Many different plumbing scenarios can exist in a particular home, therefore, improvements will need to be as required by the individual situation, and there is not a “one repair fixes all” solution. Proposed individual correction reimbursements will be determined by the City of Oregon during the grant application approval process and / or any plumbing consultations.

One of the most common scenarios is the presence of a floor drain in the basement of the home with perimeter tiles / footer tiles connected to it. Footer tiles are placed near the foundation of homes to keep water away from the foundation, and keep the basement dry. In older construction, these tiles typically discharged to the floor drain in the basement which is connected to the sanitary sewer, therefore, the perimeter tiles are discharging clean ground water to the sanitary sewer. In addition to the violation of OCO 925.26 (as stated above), footer tile drainage will enter the basement if the public sanitary sewer is backed up or surcharging. This drainage will backup and flood into the basement through the floor drain.

The below paragraphs and schematic drawings describe a typical existing plumbing scenario and offer a proposed correction that would be applicable to this grant program.

Existing Plumbing – Dry Weather

Many homes have plumbing fixtures in the basement such as a floor drain, shower, and / or toilet. Homes in older areas also have footer tiles that are typically connected to the sanitary sewer through a floor drain. This clean water connection is prohibited and can lead to basement backups. Click here for example.

Existing Plumbing – Wet Weather

Due to excessive I/I during large rain events, sewage can surcharge in the sanitary sewer system and backup into basement fixtures such as floor drains, toilets, and showers. This is made worse by prohibited clean water connections inside homes such as footer tiles / perimeter tiles. If this water has no place to drain to, it will backup into your home. Click here for example.

Proposed Correction

A suitable correction, as applicable to this grant program, would be to install backwater valves on plumbing fixture drain lines and eliminate the floor drain by installing a sump pump and crock to intercept the footer tile drainage. This sump pump would include a discharge line to the outside of the home. This discharge can be routed to the common drainage line, a storm sewer, or to daylight where it can infiltrate into the ground. As part of this correction, any plumbing fixtures currently discharging into the floor drain will need to be rerouted to the sanitary sewer stack. This connection would also receive a backwater valve to prevent a backup of sewage into this fixture. The sewer from the floor drain would then be capped. This would prevent the backup of sewage into the basement, as well as, eliminate the footer tiles from discharging into the sanitary sewer, which is in violation of OCO 925.26. Click here for example.

Backwater Valve Maintenance

Backwater valves require periodic maintenance in order to ensure their proper function during a backup event. Homeowners must follow maintenance guidelines from the valve’s manufacturer. This typically involves a visual inspection of the valve, body, and gate, to ensure that there is no debris build up that would inhibit function. If debris is present, the valve body and gate should be removed and cleaned to remove the debris. Flush and clean around the valve collar prior to reinstalling the valve parts. Flapper and valve parts should also be inspected to ensure there is no deterioration that would allow water to leak past.

Application Packet

Click here for the grant application packet, program requirements, and further information.