If you have a basement, it’s at risk of flooding and sewer back-ups – even if it has never flooded before. This fall, we're sharing information on how to identify and disconnect illegal plumbing connections from the sanitary sewer. Homeowners may qualify for financial assistance through the Preventative Plumbing Program.
Sump pumps and foundation drains (weeping tiles) must not be connected into the sanitary sewer. Because these types of connections overwhelm infrastructure, they put your neighbourhood at risk of basement flooding and are in violation of the City of Kingston Sewer Use By-law. Illegal plumbing connections lead to substantial amounts of ground water entering the sanitary sewer, costing rate payers extra money to treat this water.
To find out if your house has an illegal connection, look around to see where your sump pump or downspout is discharging to. If the pipes lead underground, there is a good chance that you have an illegal connection.
DO’s of making the right connection
- DO extend downspouts away from the house, draining at least two metres away from your foundation, on top of the lawn.
- DO discharge your sump pump outside and away from your foundation, draining at least two metres away from your foundation, on top of the lawn.
- DO protect your discharge hose from freezing in the winter.
- DO consider back-up power for your sump pump in case the power fails.
DON’Ts of making the right connection
- Don't have your downspouts connected to your foundation drain.
- Don't have your sump pump discharge to the floor drain or laundry tub (these are connected to the sanitary sewer).
- Don't discharge your sump pump to a neighbouring property.
To understand these elements of your home’s plumbing, you may wish to engage a licensed plumber who can conduct specialized testing or inspection, perhaps through using a video camera.
Still not sure? We are happy to assist. Email with your questions at PreventativePlumbing@UtilitiesKingston.com.
Check out our infographic "Sump pumps: make the right connection" for all the details on making the right connection to protect your home.
Financial assistance is available
Homeowners: get up to $3,000 to install sump pumps, backwater sanitary valves, foundation drains and other eligible measures. We still have financial assistance available to customers through the 2023 Preventative Plumbing Program. Customers are encouraged to act today, leaving time to implement plumbing measures before the end of the calendar year.
This program helps homeowners take measures to better protect their homes from flooding and sewage back-ups – and comply with the City’s Sewer Use By-law.
Interested? Find details and an easy-to-use online application, e-mail or call 613-546-0000.
Did you know? Since the program began in 2012, $4,888,422 in financial assistance has helped 2,728 Kingston homeowners, including with the removal of 263 illegal connections to the sanitary sewer.
Know your Flood Facts to protect your property
Learn more about the Preventative Plumbing Program and how to protect your basement from the risk of flooding with our 18 flood facts and tips.
Customers can contact us with any questions or concerns at 613-546-0000, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.