When a rain gutter/downspout and sometimes a sump pump send their discharge below grade to a pipe, it may appear that rainwater is draining into a sanitary sewer, but it really isn’t. In municipal areas with sewer systems, gutter (rainwater) discharge is normally routed into a storm sewer. This storm piping routes water to rivers and streams and is separate from the sanitary sewer system. Connecting your sump to a basement sink or floor drain sends your stormwater to sewer system, is against the rules.
Municipal systems include a sanitary sewer system that routes toilet, shower and sink water to a sewage treatment plant. The flow of storm and sanitary sewer systems would never be combined unless a really old system is in place or there are problems with the system. In the old days before good sewage treatment, homes had combined sewers – but that is not common today.
When you live out in the country, your gutters may discharge below grade and be directed underground to the side of a hill or a lower spot. Rural areas don’t have storm sewers.
Look at the curb and gutter in front of your house. If you see grates there, rainwater flows into a storm sewer system below the street. If you sump pump is connected to drain line in the wall, it is most likely storm water.
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