The two issue’s with water powered sump pumps are:
1. The irresponsible waste of water
2. The possible contamination issue that could present a health issue for families
We’re happy to see towns such as Bloomington, Illinois call out water-powered sump pumps for water conservation, we’re also happy to see states such as Ohio, that have also called-out water powered sump pumps and are recognizing the potential dangers and are now requiring specific code for water-powered sump pumps. This is taken directly from the Ohio plumbing code:
First a definition of “Contamination:”
CONTAMINATION. An impairment of the quality of the potable water that creates an actual hazard to the public health through poisoning or through the spread of disease by sewage, industrial fluids or waste.
Then the water powered sump pump code:
608.12 Pumps and other appliances. Water pumps, water-powered sump pumps, filters, softeners, tanks and all other devices that handle or treat potable water shall be protected against contamination.
Resulting in this type of backflow device
608.13.2 Reduced pressure principle backflow preventers. Reduced pressure principle backflow preventers shall conform to ASSE 1013, AWWA C511, CAN/CSA B64.4 or CSA B64.4.1. Reduced pressure detector assembly
backflow preventers shall conform to ASSE 1047. These devices shall be permitted to be installed where subject to continuous pressure conditions. The relief opening shall discharge by air gap and shall be prevented from being
Which the definition is this:
REDUCED PRESSURE PRINCIPLE BACKFLOW PREVENTER. A backflow prevention device consisting of two independently acting check valves, internally force-loaded to a normally closed position and separated by an intermediate chamber (or zone) in which there is an automatic relief means of venting to the atmosphere, internally loaded to a normally open position between two tightly closing shutoff valves and with a means for testing for tightness of the checks and opening of the relief means.
What does all this mean?
This means you have to have a professional plumber install this device which is expensive to install (+$200) plus requires a third party to check its operation every year.
Why go through the hassles of all of this when you can help protect the environment and protect the health of your family with a battery backup sump pump. Most manufacturers of water powered sump pumps, ALSO make battery backup sump pumps. Choose one of those over a water powered sump pump.