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The Issue With Water Powered Sump Pumps

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 … Read more

City of Bloomington, Illinois, concerned with the use of water-powered 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 … Read more

What is a Water Powered Sump Pump

The product is called a “water-powered sump pump,” some also call it a “water pump” or “water driven pump” either, way this pump it’s installed primarily as a backup sump pump to a primary electric sump pump (that’s plugged into the wall). In a heavy rain – flood situation – ground water under a house … Read more

Yahoo! Study: American Dream Homes Turn Green

Just read this article and wanted to pass it along. In a recent Yahoo! Real Estate survey of current and aspiring homeowners, the so-called American dream home “Isn’t a supersized McMansion – it is a ‘green,’ energy-efficient home built with ‘sustainable’ materials that yield a lower carbon footprint. Or, more often, it is a home … Read more

How Water Powered Sump Pumps are Potentially Dangerous

One of the main concerns about water-powered sump pumps, besides the un-necessary waste of fresh drinking water, is the potential health hazard they possess. Since all water-powered pumps must be connected directly to the fresh water supply of the house, they must have backflow protection. Should there be a loss of positive water pressure coming … Read more

Water conservation moving from “trend to mandate.”

Great article in the February issue of  “Plumbing and Mechanical” concerning water conservation.  Highlights include: Water conservation is moving from trend to mandate Water conservation efforts will move from common plumbing products (faucets, toilets, shower heads etc…) to a new range of applications that need to be addressed The plumbing professional has an important role … Read more

Are Water Powered Backup Sump Pumps Safe?

Water powered backup sump pumps bought in a box store often are made with cheap parts that wear out or break easily, and usually come with sub-standard backflow protection. For example, some of the water powered sump pumps are hooked up by using a garden hose. In this case the backflow device (necessary protection in … Read more

Ohio Plumbing Code – Water-Powered Sump Pumps

The two issue’s with water powered sump pumps are: 1.  The irresponsible waste of water 2.  The possible contamination issue that could present a health issue for families We’re happy to see towns such as Bloomington, Illinois call out water-powered sump pumps for water conservation, we’re also happy to see states such as Ohio, that … Read more

Why a Water Powered Sump Pump Needs to be Installed By a Plumbing Pro

A Water Powered Sump Pump may sound like a cool idea, however the premise of using municipal water to pump out your sump pit comes with serious drawbacks: 1.  The waste of fresh drinking water. How many times have you seen a commercial about a faucet, or toilet, or dishwater and the amount of water … Read more

How much water is on earth?

This is a great illustration from Gizmodo which really drives home the point of why water conservation is so important. Kind of scary actually. That’s why we advocate to get rid of water wasting products like water pumps or water powered sump pumps.

Water pumps suffer with low municipal water pressure

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 … Read more

How does a water powered sump pump work?

These pumps operate by taking the energy in municipal-supplied water at full pressure, run through a venturi device, positioned on the bottom of the sump pit in a basement. They connect directly to the fresh drinking water supply line of a house, or in some circumstances, homeowners connect the pump with a rubber garden hose … Read more

More Water Restrictions – Another Case Against Water Powered Sump Pumps

With Summer officially here, watering restrictions are becoming more commonplace. “Local villages have instituted watering restrictions due to the high temperatures and dry conditions expected this weekend and into next week.” was the opening sentence in the Lincolnshire review, covering Lincolnshire Illinois and surrounding communities. We take water for granted, as it’s always right there at the … Read more

Say No to Water-Powered Sump Pumps!

The IAPMO (International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials) Green Technical Committee has finalized the Green Plumbing & Mechanical Code Supplement.

The committee took a huge step towards water conservation and public health by approving code that PROHIBITS the installation of water-powered sump pumps.

The committee recognizes the un-necessary waste of water and potential health hazards that are associated with these pumps. This code addition is proof water-powered sump pumps are wasteful and dangerous and should NEVER be installed.

The Supplement has been published and will be submitted for addition into the Uniform Plumbing Code and Uniform Mechanical Code.

first the facts

From the EPA:
“There's a reason that water has become a national priority. A recent government survey showed at least 36 states are anticipating local, regional, or statewide water shortages by 2013. But by using water more efficiently, we can help preserve water supplies for future generations, save money, and protect the environment. Remember: Every drop counts!”

From the World Water Council:
“While the world's population tripled in the 20th century, the use of renewable water resources has grown six-fold. Within the next fifty years, the world population will increase by another 40 to 50%. This population growth - coupled with industrialization and urbanization - will result in an increasing demand for water and will have serious consequences on the environment.”

From Un Secretary general Ban Ki-moon:
“The challenge of securing safe and plentiful water for all is one of the most daunting challenges faced by the world today.”

From the 2009 World Water Development Report:
“Water is linked to the crises of climate change, energy and food supplies and prices, and troubled financial markets. Unless their links with water are addressed and water crises around the world are resolved, these other crises may intensify and local water crises may worsen, converging into a global water crisis and leading to political insecurity and conflict at various levels.”

making the situation worse

In thousands and thousands of homes across the United States a plumbing product lurks, capable of carelessly wasting hundreds of gallons of water, when it’s completely unnecessary for these products to be installed.

The product is called a “water-powered sump pump” it’s installed primarily as a backup device to a primary sump pump. In a heavy rain – flood situation – ground water under a house rises and pours into a sump pit where a sump pump, pumps this dirty rainwater out of the basement, keeping it dry.

If the power goes out and the primary sump pump is inoperative, that’s when these water wasters kick in. They can draw up to 600 gallons of fresh drinking water per hour, where it’s used to pump rising ground water up and out of the sump pit. Most water-powered sump pumps use 1 gallon of fresh water for every gallon of dirty ground water they pump out.

Based on an estimated population of 50,000 to 100,000 water-powered sump pumps in the U.S., the total fresh water consumption is estimated to be 795 million to 1.5 billion gallons per year!

It’s easy to see the completely un-necessary waste of fresh
drinking-water through the use of water-powered sump pumps.

what can you do?

As the EPA says “every drop counts” that’s why water management officials, public works officials, home builders, contractors, plumbers, plumbing inspectors and homeowners should say no to water powered sump pumps.

If you’re a city official, water system manager or city plumbing inspector enact legislation or an ordinance to ban water powered sump pumps.

If you’re a homeowner, disconnect your water powered sump pump and replace it with a suitable battery backup alternative. Most companies that make water powered sump pumps also make battery backup versions that are reliable, safe and don’t waste water.

If you’re a concerned citizen, click here to email our template or click here and use our template for writing your local officials. (File provided in Word format)

The 2009 World Water Development Report goes on to say “avoiding negative impacts on water is a matter not only of social responsibility, but also of the long-term sustainability of public and private investment”

The message is clear – careless use of water is not socially or
governmentally responsible. Say no to water powered sump pumps!