Can I Run My Sump Pump Into My Sewer Line?

Sewer lines carry wastewater from homes and businesses away from their source and into the city sewage system.

When the water reaches the city, it flows through pipes underground until it comes out at a treatment plant or pumping station.

The pumps then force the water back into the ground where it can flow naturally into rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans.

Whilst it might sound like a good idea to connect your sump pump into the sewer line, you might actually be breaking the law.

For this very reason, let’s take a look at if you can run a sump pump into the sewer line, and why you probably should not.


What Is A Sump Pump?

Installed in the sump pit which is dug around the lowest area of the house – usually a basement – the submersible device helps to protect your home from a flood.

It works by mainly being on standby. In fact, it just waits until it is actually needed, which is usually when it rains quite heavily.

Basically, whenever the rain is so heavy that there is a risk of flooding your basement.

Because the soil that encases your house is likely to become sodden and oversaturated, this excess water is funneled to the sump pit making it fill with water.

Doing this activates the float switch of the sump pump, meaning it then turns on and starts its job of removing the excess water and releasing it into a storm drain that is nearby. 

In simple terms, it stops the groundwater rising to above the level of your basement’s floor. If it was to rise above this, then it would cause a flood. 

Can I Run A Sump Pump Into My Sewer Line?

To put it simply: no. 

Whilst it isn’t impossible, it might actually just be illegal. In most states you cannot run your sump pump into the sewer line.

To know if it is illegal in your area, then make sure to see what the local guidelines are in your area.

However, whilst it can be done – as if it isn’t an impossible task – it can risk damage to sewage lines and bring water damage to your home.

Because of this, it is always best to not even risk doing so.

Is There A Reason It Is Illegal?

It is illegal in most states because it can cause a whole lot of mess and damage. When it heavily rains, a sewage treatment plant may become too full.

Because of this, the sewage can actually back up and end up flooding into your home.

It doesn’t sound nice, does it?

Whilst it might sound hypothetical, it has actually happened, hence it being illegal to do so.

There have been times when somebody has connected their sump pump to the local sewer line and ended up with sewage in their basement.

Connecting the sump pump to the sewer line may also help to overload the sewage treatment plant, and this may also backup raw sewage into other homes too.

To avoid this costly and time consuming mess, it is best to scrap the idea of wanting to connect a sump pump to a sewer line. 

Why Would I Want To Install A Sump Pump Into My Home?

There are many reasons as to why you would want to add a sump pump to your home.

Not only does it stop your basement from flooding, but it also means that there will be no costs involved when having to repair any water damage. 

If you have electronics in the basement, then you will most certainly want to have a sump pump. The last thing you want is water reaching electrical appliances such as a refrigerator or washer. 

Not only is it dangerous, but again, it means you aren’t paying for costly repairs and new items. 

If your basement becomes damp from rainwater, you also risk bacterial growth from the likes of mildew and mold.

Not only does it smell horrible and can ruin the walls, it is also not very good for health reasons. 

Having a sump pump will also help to keep the foundation of your home intact by making sure it doesn’t fill up with too much water and cause corrosion to materials. 

Lastly, it’ll keep your basement livable all year round. It means that you can spend time in your basement without it feeling and smelling damp.

Not only will this make it a happier place to be, it will also be a much healthier place to spend time.

How Do I Know If I Need A Sump Pump In My Basement?

How Do I Know If I Need A Sump Pump In My Basement

Not everyone needs a sump pump, and not everybody wants the hassle of installing one, but they do have many advantages – as listed above.

If you are unsure whether you need a sump pump, then take a look at our suggestions:

You Live In An Area Known To Flood 

Sometimes you may love a house and yet ignore some of the bad points. One of those is being built on foundations that are susceptible to flooding. 

If you find that the foundations around your house include soil that doesn’t drain well, it is quite low-lying, or that it has a number of hills surrounding the home, then you may need a sump pump. 

You may find that in heavy rain the groundwater level becomes quite high. This can cause flooding, so a sump pump would be very ideal.

The Climate You Live In Has Plenty Of Snow And Rain

If the air is quite damp and moist, and there tends to be a lot of rain and snowfall, then a sump pump is going to be very handy to keep it all out of the basement.

Unless you live in a particularly dry climate in the west, it is likely that you will need a sump pump to keep your basement from collecting mold patches and rainwater. 

Your Basement Is A Livable Space

If you have a basement that you consider a finished space, just like the rest of your house, then there is no harm in trying to protect it. 

We cannot predict what might happen, especially during a freak storm, but having the safety blanket of a sump pump can give you peace of mind, always.


Whilst the idea of connecting a sump pump to a sewer line might sound like a good idea, it actually is not.

Unless you want the possibility of raw sewage being backed up into your basement, then you probably should forget the idea.

Other than that, a sump pump is a great idea to prevent flooding from happening inside your home. 



Bill is a DIY plumber, handyman, and homeowner with more than a decade of experience. He has replaced and repaired sump pumps, backup pumps, float switches, check valves, and many other things around his family home. An engineer and tinkerer at heart, he is always looking to see how things work and taking on new home projects that help him grow his skillsets. He is a husband and father of two boys, has a bachelors degree in Computer Engineer and minor in Mathematics and likes to make homebrew beer in his free time.

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