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Sump pit drainage systems

A sump pit drainage system includes a:

  • Sump pit – set into the basement floor, collects water from the weeping tiles around your basement.
  • Sump pump – pushes the water outside your house through the hose.
  • Discharge hose – drains the water out onto your property.

Since 1990, by-laws require that all weeping tiles in new homes be connected directly to a sump pit with no connection between the sump pit and the house sewer.

It’s important to make sure your sump pump discharge hose is in the right place to avoid violating City of Winnipeg by-laws.

Right way to place your sump pump hose

Place the hose so that the water from your sump pump:

  • Drains away from your house, preferably onto a grassy area or non-paved surface, and
  • Is absorbed on your property.
Photo of house showing proper sump pump hose placement photo 1 Photo of house showing proper sump pump hose placement photo 2

Tips

  • Use the water from the sump pump to water grass, shrubs and trees on your property.
  • Move the hose often so that you don't overwater any one area.
Wrong way to place your sump pump hose

Do not place the hose so that water from your sump pump drains:

  • Onto neighbouring properties,
  • Onto lanes or streets,
  • Onto sidewalks,
  • Onto boulevards, or
  • Into the floor drain in your home.

If you do this, you are violating City of Winnipeg by-laws.

Photo of improper sump pump hose placement - Hose draining onto street
Hose draining onto street
Photo of improper sump pump hose placement - Buried hose draining onto street
Buried hose draining onto street
Photo of improper sump pump hose placement - Hose draining onto neighbour's property
Hose draining onto neighbour's property

Photo of improper sump pump hose placement - Ice buildup between houses
Ice buildup between houses
Photo of improper sump pump hose placement - Hose draining onto sidewalk
Hose draining onto sidewalk

FAQ

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Photo of proper sump pump drainage for winter - Elbow connection to splashpad
Why can't I drain water from my sump pump into my floor drain?

Weeping tile water that collects in your sump pit should not go in the sewer system for two reasons:


  1. It increases the risk of basement flooding for you and your neighbours. The sewer system is designed to manage only normal flows of wastewater, not sump pump water.
  2. It prevents unnecessary increases in sewer costs to you, our customer, since it is clean water and does not need to be treated. If you discharge sump pump water to the sewer, it flows to a wastewater treatment plant. This can result in extra wear and tear on equipment, and even require an increase in the size of the plant. We then recover these added treatment costs by increasing the sewer rate.
Why can't I drain water from my sump pump onto the street, lane or sidewalk?

It causes hazardous conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.


  • In summer, algae or mould can grow on sidewalks and the street, creating slippery conditions.
  • In winter, ice build-up causes slippery conditions.
Can I use the water from the sump pump to water trees on City property?

No, because there is a risk of overwatering. Young, newly transplanted trees are particularly sensitive.

Should I unplug my sump pump in the winter?

Never unplug your sump pump.

What should I do with my sump pump hose in the winter?

If water in the sump pump hose freezes, your sump pump can overheat and burn out. There are two ways of preventing this. Try them out to see which works for your property.

In the fall, once the weather drops below freezing, disconnect the flexible sump pump hose outside.

  1. If you don't already have one, attach a 90 degree elbow to the discharge outlet, and place a splash pad under the discharge outlet
  2. Fasten a larger size flexible, perforated drain hose or pipe (4" or 6" diameter) of suitable length to the discharge outlet (e.g., a piece of weeping tile pipe)

    Remember! In spring, reattach the hose you normally use or leave the winter one in place if it drains the water properly in spring and summer.

Photo of proper sump pump drainage for winter - Large diameter flexible hose

What can I do if I have tried these suggestions for dealing with sump pump water in the winter, and I still have a problem?

Contact 311. We will then contact you to arrange a time to meet with you at home to review your situation.

What should I do if my neighbour is draining his or her sump pump water onto my property?

If the water is draining towards the property line between you and your neighbour:


  • Check your own lot grading to ensure that your property is sloped to the property line and not draining back towards your house. Draining sump pump water to the property line, which then drains towards (but not directly onto) the street or lane, is normal.
  • Talk to your neighbour to try and work out a solution. He or she may not realize there is a problem.
What can I do if attempts to find solutions with my neighbour does not work?

You can try to:


  • Consult with a professional (e.g., landscape contractor or landscape architect).
  • Contact us to investigate. Our lot grading inspector will examine both properties and recommend improvements.
Do you inspect homes to see if water from sump pump hoses is draining properly?

Yes. If we find a property where the water is draining improperly, we will issue a notice of By-law violation. The owner must then correct the violation by the deadline on the notice.

Contact 311 if you have questions about sump pumps and sump pump discharge.

Last updated: November 13, 2019