What is a grinder pump? – A grinder pump grinds up wastewater (i.e. toilet, shower, washing machine, etc.) and pumps it into the public sewer system.
Why do I have a grinder pump? – In most instances, wastewater flows by gravity from a private sewer service line to a public sewer main where it travels to NLCA’s wastewater treatment facility. However, because of elevation, gravity may not work in all instances. In situations where a home/business sewer service line leaves the building at a lower elevation than the sewer main, a grinder pump is sometimes used to grind and pump wastewater to the main.
What is not permissible to discharge to my grinder pump? – Human waste and toilet paper should be the only thing going down the toilet. Unfortunately, over the years, people have turned the toilet into a trash can. From medications and sanitary products to deceased pet fish and cigarette butts, if it fits, people flush it. Flushing these types of items down the toilet can cause home grinder pumps and pipes to clog. Below is a list of itmes that people commonly flush that should NOT be going down the toilet or drains:
- Diapers, baby wipes, adult wipes, or shop rags
- Feminine products, sanitary napkins or tampons of any kind
- Cloth of any kind
- Kitty Litter
- Glass or metal or plastic products of any kind
- Excessive amounts of oil and grease of any kind
- Seafood shells
- Lubricating Oils
- Explosive or flammable materials, including but not limited to gasoline or kerosene
- Paint thinner, solvents, or antifreeze
- Other large non-wastewater items such as toys
Periodic Maintenance – We recommend removing the cover twice a year and hosing down the inside of the station tank to remove any grease or debris from the station walls or floats.
Check Valves – Check valves are installed within the grinder tank assembly to prevent wastewater from returning back into the tank. Check valves should be checked twice a year by watching your pump run through a cycle. This can be achieved by turning on a tub faucet, as tubs produce the highest volume of water in the shortest amount of time. Run the faucet until the level sensing float activates the pump within the grinder tank station. Turn the faucet off and monitor the water level in the tank. If the level increases in height, without any water coming from the home, it is a good indicator the check valve needs to be replaced. Contact your local plumber immediately, as your pump is probably running more often than required, hence running up your electric bill.
Power Failure – Your grinder pump cannot dispose of wastewater without electric power. Remember to always leave the power to the pump on even if you will be away for an extended period of time.
Pump Failure Alarm – Your System is provided with an alarm that will signal in the event of a high water level in the station tank. Water usage must be limited and a local plumber should be contacted immediately. Should your pump require removal and off site service, the plumber may contact our office for a 30-day loaner pump at no cost while you have your pump repaired.
Sump Pumps and Storm Drains – Protect the grinder tank from surface runoff water to avoid flooding the tank and sending soil and debris into it. It is illegal to have sump pumps connected to the sewer system and could lead to fines by the Authority. No action will be taken against any home that voluntarily notifies the Authority of a sump pump connection. We will assist in providing information on proper discharges for home sump pumps.