Proper Sewer Connections Help Protect the System

lllegal sewer connections can lead to inconveniences and expensive repairs. Stafford Utilities customers can avoid these issues by ensuring their sewer connections do not allow ground or rainwater to enter the sewer system. Excess groundwater or rainwater can overwhelm the system leading to problems. Stafford Utilities asks for the public’s help in ensuring all sewer connections follow the Stafford County Code.

Here is some helpful information on how to prevent groundwater and rainwater, known as inflow, from entering the sewer system:

  • Sump pumps should discharge to the storm sewer or onto a vegetated area on the property at least six feet away from the foundation. It is helpful to ensure that it does not create an ice hazard on sidewalks and streets or negatively impact adjacent properties. These should not be confused with sewer ejector pumps, commonly found in the basement. If you are unsure of the type of sump pump you have, please contact a licensed plumbing professional.
  • Foundation drains should discharge to the storm sewer or onto a vegetated area on the property at least six feet away from the foundation, similar to sump pumps. The foundation drain should connect to the sump pump if this is impossible.

  • Roof downspouts should not be connected to the sanitary sewer system with underground piping. They should discharge onto a vegetated area on the property at least six feet away from the foundation. Both sump pump discharge and runoff from the roof will soak into the ground and replenish soil moisture.

It is also wise to check your sanitary sewer cleanout. The cleanout is a vertical pipe, about four inches in diameter, outside your house used by the Utilities Department to access the sanitary sewer lateral for cleaning. You will normally find it near the house or close to the property line where the sewer lateral connects to the County sanitary sewer line. It is important that the cap to the cleanout pipe is not missing or damaged so that rainwater cannot get into the sewer line. By keeping the cleanout capped, you can also prevent unpleasant sewer odors and gases from escaping.

Please help Stafford protect the system so that service is not interrupted for you or your neighbors. With your assistance, the Utilities Department can keep inflow out of the County’s sanitary sewer system, reducing overflows and backups. If you have any questions or want additional information about compliant connections to the sanitary sewer system, please contact Utilities Customer Service at (540) 658-8616.


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