Stormwater Flood Control Program

Do you experience basement flooding?  

The City of Superior's Stormwater Flood Control Program (SFCP) can help!

Typically homes constructed prior to 1970 were built with a catch basin type sump pit connecting the foundation drains to the sanitary sewer lateral. Some homes were built with a house trap to protect the house from sewer gases. These traps collect debris and inhibit maintenance of the sanitary sewer lateral.

The SFCP Program installs a sump pump to collect the clear water from the foundation drains and discharge it onto the ground surface. The existing catch basin is either removed or turned into a floor drain. House traps are removed to enable access for sanitary sewer lateral maintenance and to assess the condition of the sewer. 

A backwater valve and cleanout is installed along the sanitary sewer lateral to help reduce basement flooding. The backwater valve acts as a one-way valve. The backwater valve will close during high flow events, reducing the chance that sewage can enter your basement from the City sewer main. 

Below are diagrams of residential plumbing before and after typical SFCP modifications. Click on images to enlarge.

Plumbing diagram before SFCP modification

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Plumbing diagram after SFCP modification

AfterModsDryTree022504 Model (1)

The Stormwater Flood Control Program can assist residents with the costs and installation of the following items. Learn more about program participation requirements below.

Interested in learning how you can decrease the chance of basement flooding? Visit our Inflow and Infiltration webpage (this will be a link to an I&I page)!

Remove Building/House Traps
Older homes may have a building or house trap (also called a “whole house trap” because it is on the main sewer line). House traps are usually buried in the basement or ground just outside the home, and provides a single liquid seal to stop sewer gases from rising up into the home through plumbing fixture drains. House traps date back to the time before individual traps were required for each plumbing fixture, and have been prohibited by the building code for many years. Because new plumbing fixtures contain a trap, these whole-house traps are no longer necessary and can collect debris, limit access for cleaning, and cause flow restrictions in your building's sewer lines.

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Install Backwater Valves
Backwater valves reduce the likelihood of sewage backing up into your home. A properly maintained backwater valve allows water to flow only in one direction at a time due to a mechanical disc (flapper) that will close during high flow periods (i.e. large rain events), reducing the chance that sewage can enter your basement from the City sewer main.
A backwater valve is installed in the private sewer lateral (the line that connects your home to the city sewer).

Install a Clean-out
A sewer clean-out is an accessible opening, or cap, in your home's sewer line which allows for maintenance of the private sewer system. Clean-outs are often found in the basement on the floor, sewer stack, or outside the home along the private sewer lateral.

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foundation drains

Separate Foundation Drains
Foundation drains are pipes located under basement walls that collect ground water to prevent it from damaging your home or anything stored in the basement by preventing water from seeping through the floor or walls. Older homes may have foundation drains connected directly to the private sewer lateral. Foundation drains connected to sanitary sewers deliver excess groundwater into the system that does not need to be treated at the wastewater treatment plant. This type of system also increases the risk of basement backups during heavy rain events because excess stormwater enters the sanitary sewer pipes potentially overloading the system. 

Remove Sump Pit and Install Floor Drain
Foundation drains in older houses drain into a Clear Water Catch Basin, which is connected directly to the private sewer lateral. Separating the clear water from the sanitary sewer with a sump pump and discharge pipe alleviates the excessive and unnecessary strain on the sewer system and helps minimize the likelihood and severity of basement backups.

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Install a Sump Pump and Discharge Pipe
A sump pump is a small pump installed in a sump pit, at the lowest part of a basement. Water flows into the sump pit through foundation drains. A sump pump will help keep the area under the building dry and reduce the chance of flooding during rain events. Discharge pipes direct clear water from the sump pit to ground surface away from your home.

SFCP Participation Requirements

  • Single-family, owner-occupied residential home within the limits of the City of Superior
  • Homeowners that have experienced basement flooding
  • Open to participants of the City’s former Backwater Valve Programs (1970’s-1990's)

*Homeowners must have a building sewer inspection (televising/cleaning) performed. During the inspection, the building sewer (lateral) must be found to be acceptable to qualify for the installation of the sump pump and BWV.

The City of Superior SFCP will fund the following activities:

DollarSign
  • 100% of the cost of a stormwater/surface water survey and site inspection by SFCP Staff
  • 100% of the materials and installation of backwater valve, sump pump, clean-out and house trap removal. 
  • Up to $150 toward the cost inspecting private sewer laterals (televising/cleaning). The homeowner is responsible for any cost exceeding $150.00. Qualifying low-income homeowners will receive $300.00 toward the cost of the building sewer inspection.
  • Up to 50% of the cost of correcting illicit grey water connections to the clear water catch basin (up to maximum of $1000.00). Qualifying low-income homeowners may receive 100% reimbursement from the City of Superior (up to a maximum of $1000.00).

You can learn how to do a basement inspection, or get more information about Inflow and Infiltration on the LakeSuperiorStreams.org website.