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Just read this article and wanted to pass it along. In a recent Yahoo! Real Estate survey of current and aspiring homeowners, the so-called American dream home “Isn’t a supersized McMansion – it is a ‘green,’ energy-efficient home built with ‘sustainable’ materials that yield a lower carbon footprint. Or, more often, it is a home remodeled with energy-efficient appliances and eco-friendly home products.”

The survey found, at at the top of the list, 50% of people consider green/energy efficient appliances/materials as a requirement of their dream home – it is more popular than perennial favorites such as “building a custom home” (38%); “water views” (38%) and “mountain views” (32%);

The article goes on to say many eco-conscious homeowners , rather than build or buy new homes, “seek to lower their carbon footprint by purchasing more energy efficient appliances or making other home modifications that may include the addition of solar panels to offset other energy costs.”

As you can see being more aware of the environment is becoming more and more important to a broader range of people. That’s why we believe so strongly in raising the issue about water powered sump pumps. A product that uses FRESH DRINKING WATER in a wasteful manner is not green. Water powered sump pumps are irresponsible when there are viable alternatives. We’ve said this before, when shopping for a device to keep your basement dry, most manufacturers of water powered or water driven sump pumps also make battery backup sumps as well, which are more powerful , easier to install AND promote water conservation.  Help yourself and the environment and stay away from water powered sump pumps.

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In a letter sent to all residents every year, the city of Bloomington, Illinois, voices its concerns with the use of water powered sump pumps stating:

  • Water powered sump pumps can use large quantities of water in a very short time
  • Water powered sump pumps can have a profound impact on the City Services bill for the property

The Bloomington Water Department goes on to say, “there are alternatives that do not have the risk of high water consumption.”  Adding, “a battery backup for the sump sump pump can usually provide hours of safe pump protection without the cost of water use.”

Many other municipalities would be served well by following this well thought out example. Click here to see the message on their website.

We get alot of questions as to “what’s the big deal with these pumps?” So here’s a 3 main points to consider when thinking about installing a water powered sump pump.

1.  Waste of fresh water.  Depending on efficiency, lift and city water pressure, most water-powered sump pumps draw up to 600 gallons of fresh drinking water per hour. Based on a conservative estimate of 300,000 water-powered sump pumps in the U.S., if on average each one wastes 2,400 gallons per year,  (based on two, four hour power outages a year where the pump is only activated half that time = 4 hours x 600 gallons per pump, equals 2,400 gallons per year), that equals 720,000 million gallons of water wasted: 720 million gallons of fresh drinking water – please tell us how a device like this is a responsible product in these times?

2. Potential Health Hazard. Water-powered sump pumps connect directly to the fresh drinking water supply line to the building, in some circumstances, the owner may connect the pump with a rubber garden hose to a nearby faucet.  Since all water-powered pumps must be connected directly to the water supply, they must have backflow protection – unfortunately, many are installed without this. In times of heavy demand, when there’s a low-pressure situation, contaminated water may be sucked back into the fresh water drinking supply, causing a health risk.

3. Strain on public resources. A water powered sump pump is most likely to be engaged during a power outage in a rain storm. This is when municipality’s reserves are most valuable. These pumps running could cause unnecessary strain and force public water systems to fall below minimum storage levels. This endangers city resources such as fire protection and public safety.  This could prevent the fire department from fighting a fire from a lightning strike that caused all of this in the first place, and there’s no way to turn these off because they come on automatically.

Please think twice about installing one of these wasteful pumps. The environment, your family and your community is counting on you.