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Beginning March 31, Fargo Sump Pumps Must Discharge Outside


The City of Fargo’s Sump Pump and Foundation Drain Enforcement Program is designed to protect homes and property throughout the City. According to City Municipal Code 17-0211, all sump pump hoses must discharge into a yard or storm sewer from March 31 through September 30.

Increased sanitary sewer system flow from rainfall during the spring and summer months necessitates that residents who have bypass waivers must move their sump discharge outside. Seasonal waiver agreements allow sump pump/foundation drain discharge to the sanitary sewer from October 1 to March 30.

The City works to ensure that sump pumps are properly discharging to reduce the risk of sewer backups in the community during heavy rainfall.

Sump pump water is "clear water," most often rain or ground water or snow melt. This water flows directly into area streams, ponds and lakes. Water from sinks, showers, tubs, toilets and washing machines is “wastewater” and must be treated before it is discharged into the environment.

Clear water, such as that from a sump pump, quickly overloads the sanitary sewer system. During the rainy season (April through October), this clear water increases the flow through City of Fargo’s sanitary sewer system, primarily because of bypasses not being switched over. This added water to the sanitary system will cause sewer backups and could potentially lead to an emergency need to discharge elements of the system to prevent catastrophic damages.

Sump pumps should drain into the City’s storm sewer system through a direct connection (a pipe from the house to the main storm sewer line, if available); directly onto the ground (preferably 20 feet from the house and not into a neighbor’s yard); or a buried line to the curb.

Residents can learn more about the Sump Pump Program or call 701.461.7867.