Waste Line - downspouts?

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,177
Milwaukee, WI
Currently my waste line goes all the way around to the other side of the pool and out to the back of the property. There it discharges, and is intended to (I think) run along a channel lined with stones, out to between the two houses of neighbors' property. But it just goes into their yards and keeping the channel clear and running well is a really big challenge.

We have gutters that just run down to the ground. I assume they go to the storm sewers (how would we verify this?). If so, I would think it might make more sense to pump the water into one of those downspouts and have it go to the storm sewers directly and bypass potentially flooding my neighbors. (The one who is most affected is a really nice pastor and keeps assuring me that when it rains water ends up going that way anyhow, but I still feel bad whenever I need to lower the pool a couple of inches with all the water going into his yard.)

Just checked the city code, and found this:


Which specifically says not to discharge to the ground and to go into a sanitary sewer, so I am thinking more and more like it's the best idea. Any ideas on how I can check to see where my downspouts are discharging?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,475
Tallahassee, FL
OH my.....without doing some digging it will be hard to know where they are going..........How about a thin metal something to poke down into the ground to see if there is any what to tell where it goes?

Hey as your nice neighbor! He might have the same kind of set up and will be able to give you some guidance!
 

Randrx2

Bronze Supporter
Dec 13, 2018
361
Orlando, FL
I have not seen where gutters connect directly into the storm system except for commercial. Most times, the gutters go into the underground and then there is a grate somewhere else that the water weeps out of. Sometimes they run all the way to the street and pop out of a curb.

Another issue to be concerned with if the gutters do tie into the storm system. Will the pipe be able to handle the flow from the discharge of the pool?

I can think of a few ways to check if they tie in. Look for any grates in the yard thsee may discharge to. Also, look in any drainage ditches for pipes smoking from house. You can run a hose in the gutter and see where the water goes. Go to the planning office and see if there are civil plans for your property showing the gutter tie in.
 

revitup

Bronze Supporter
Nov 30, 2019
208
Pawleys Island, SC
I think I would just go for it, open it up and direct discharge from the pump and see it it backs up. If it does you can't use it no matter where it goes. If it doesn't, go looking for an above ground discharge location. I think it would be found pretty quickly. If it can't be found assume it's going to the storm drain.
 
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IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,177
Milwaukee, WI
I've never seen any discharge location for any of this. The only possible location is a very long drain tile pipe that comes out the bottom of our retaining wall toward our neighbor's property, but I always assumed that there's no way all of the drains go there - that it must be for drainage from the wall itself. See photos below. I guess I could run a hose up and run water down a downspout, see if the drain tile has any water come out?

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IceShadow

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TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,177
Milwaukee, WI
Is it a bad idea to ask the city to see if they have any advice on determining where the gutters run? They'd have an interest in making sure they're not going into the sanitary sewer. But if they are, I'd be looking at a large expense to correct it, probably....
 

IceShadow

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TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,177
Milwaukee, WI
Wife just rolled her eyes more than I ever have seen her roll them when I mentioned my thoughts on this. I think she'd rather leave well enough alone and just keep draining on the neighbor. >.>
 

homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
227
Sunrise,FL
It is highly unlikely that your gutters go to a sanitary sewer. It would cost the city a bundle to treat rainwater the same as sewage.

Some cities and towns have regulations for discharging pool water - especially if you have a salt pool (which you don't). Just call them and say you are asking for a friend...... ;)
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
736
MA
How close is the closest city storm drainage structure?

The best way to tell is put your ear directly on your gutter downspout and have somebody take a hammer and pound on the grate or cover of the city structure. That sound will travel quite a ways. If you can easily remove the gutter downspout the best way is to put your ear right on the open pipe.
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,177
Milwaukee, WI
How close is the closest city storm drainage structure?

The best way to tell is put your ear directly on your gutter downspout and have somebody take a hammer and pound on the grate or cover of the city structure. That sound will travel quite a ways. If you can easily remove the gutter downspout the best way is to put your ear right on the open pipe.
No easy way to open it unfortunately. The nearest sewer grate is across the cul-de-sac from my driveway, probably about 200 ft or so from the downspout. But I can give it a shot. :)
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
736
MA
Personally I would not hesitate to pump the pool water into your downspout drains. Roof runoff can create an incredible amount of water during a storm event. It is unlikely that pumping your pool into the downspouts would create any more flow than what your roof puts in there during a heavy storm. So if you're not pumping your pool down during a monsoon this should not be an issue.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
736
MA
No easy way to open it unfortunately. The nearest sewer grate is across the cul-de-sac from my driveway, probably about 200 ft or so from the downspout. But I can give it a shot. :)
You should be able to hear it at 200 ft. Those structures with a grate on them typically drain into a central structure in the street somewhere that would have just a blank solid cover on it. if you see one of those closer to your house you could try wrapping on that as well.
 
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