An overhead sewer conversion converts your existing gravity sewer to an overhead sewer line. This raises the sewer pipe to above ground level and ensures that even a pressurized city sewer can’t reach that level. All plumbing in the basement is connected to an ejector pump and is pumped into the overhead sewer.
How Does it Work?
With standard plumbing (see before image below), sewage runs to the basement and then down a pipe to your city’s sewer system. In times of heavy rain, a city sewer line can hit capacity. The mixture of stormwater and sewage can back up and discharge through a basement drain or toilet. With an overhead system, sewage leaves the home just below the first floor. Plumbing from the basement is pumped up and out of the home through a newly constructed outlet. Sewage runs at a diagonal to the city’s sewer. This new plumbing configuration makes a backup almost impossible.
What Happens During an Overhead Sewer Conversion?
Installation of overhead sewers requires changing the existing plumbing in the basement so that the fixtures, laundry, and drains in the basement get redirected to an ejector pit. The ejector pit pumps the sewage overhead where it exits the foundation towards the middle of the basement wall. The upper-level plumbing will also be redirected overhead and flow by gravity to exit the foundation towards the top of the basement wall. Once outside the building, the sewer will be connected to the existing sewer lateral that connects to the city sewer main. There is also an option for an external ejector pump if the basement is finished and the restoration is too costly to install an overhead sewer system inside the house. The exact work required will be specific to each home.
Sewer Rebate Programs
Some several towns/villages offer rebates to homeowners for sewer conversion. Below is a list of several in our area that does offer rebates with a link for more information.
- Arlington Heights
- Des Plaines
- Elk Grove
- Franklin Park
- Highland Park
- Mount Prospect
- Morton Grove