Sump pump discharge
Violation notice - Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
We send out these notices to property owners who are draining water from their sump pump illegally. The City of Winnipeg Lot Grading By-law states that water from sump pumps must not drain directly:
- onto neighbouring properties,
- onto lanes or streets,
- onto sidewalks,
- onto boulevards, or
- into the floor drain in your home.
If your neighbour’s sump pump drains the same way as yours, your neighbor has probably received a notice as well. When someone reports a by-law violation, we inspect the surrounding properties. We send notices to anyone we are aware of who is draining water from their sump pump illegally.
You may have been illegally discharging your sump pump water for many years, but now that we know about it, you must fix the problem. Occasionally, illegal sump pump drainage is not noticed because the discharge hose is buried beneath the grass or landscaping.
Once we notify you of the By-law violation, you must fix the problem by the deadline. If you ignore the notice, you are disobeying the by-law. We could take the following action:
- do the work ourselves and add the costs to your property tax bill,
- charge you for any of our costs resulting from your illegal sump pump drainage (e.g., for placing sand or removing ice to make public areas safe, for repairing damages to the sidewalk, street or lane), or
- prosecute you in Provincial Court.
Sump pumps play an important part in the City's sewer systems. They pump water from the weeping tiles out onto your property. This water is suitable for watering grass, plants, trees, and shrubs. Allowing this clean water to flow into the sewer system would unnecessarily increase treatment costs. Changes to the Manitoba Building Code in 1990 require that every new home have a sump pump.