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Whatever the name, water powered sump pump, water driven pump or just a water pump, this product is used to pump water out of a sump basin by using fresh drinking. The pressure coming from the municipal water supply is mixed with the sump basin water and this device acts like a vacuum to suck the water out. This recent story from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, reports that “Aqua” Indiana, is asking its residents to voluntarily reduce water consumption stating:

“Aqua has been able to meet the demand for water so far … but if water use continues at its current rate, there is some concern the system will not be able to maintain adequate water pressure for its customers or fire protection, the statement said.”

There’s a very important line – “there is some concern the system will not be able to maintain adequate water pressure for its customers.” When this happens, the pumping capacity (which is already low) is marginalized even more, putting you at risk for a flood.

Water pumps waste fresh water, must have proper backflow protection installed to protect the homeowners and are susceptible to low pumping volume. Stay away from these water pumps, there are better choices when it comes to backup sump pumps.

 

 

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.