Storm SewerCurrently, the city of Elmhurst will pay 50 percent of a homeowner’s costs (up to $5,000) to convert a gravity basement sewer drain system to an overhead sewer system that incorporates an ejector pit and pump. The overhead sewer is designed to prevent backup of sewage into our basements from storms… as some of us may have seen in our April rain storm. Sanitary sewers can be overloaded easily due to large amounts of stormwater. Overhead sewers minimize backup by raising the point of sanitary discharge from the house.

Another tool designed to further prevent backup into basements is a check valve. A check valve is a one-way valve that allows flow from the home to the sewer system, but won’t allow flow from the sewer into the home. Disadvantages of check valves are the regular maintenance required. There are also times when flow may be stopped from the house to the sewer, due to increased pressure from the sewer.

On July 1st, the Elmhurst City Council is holding its next meeting. At this meeting, there will be a vote on an ordinance that would add check valves to our cost-sharing program for overhead sewers as an eligible expense. If this passes, the city would pay 50 percent of a homeowner’s cost to install a check valve, with a cap of $3,000 per home. The Public Works and Buildings Committee of Elmhurst has stated that check valve installation is less expensive than overhead sewer installation, though it is only an option for some people.

To qualify for city cost-sharing, homeowners must follow City Council rules and apply for the program. Homeowners applying for either check valves or overhead sewers must agree to disconnect any perimeter drain tiles or other stormwater sources, by installing a sump pit and pump. The pit and pump will discharge to the ground around the house or underground to an existing storm sewer. All applications will be on a first-come first-served basis.

At the Gracik Makinney Real Estate Group, we urge residents to look into these features for your own homes. When it comes time to buy or sell a home in Elmhurst, an improved sewer system will be a definite advantage for the property, making it more sellable. For more information on home improvements that will make your home more sellable, drop by our office at 190 North York Road right here in Elmhurst, or call us at 630-441-5570.