Installing a Sewage Pump

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Dear NH,
We want to put a toilet, sink and shower in an out building that is over 100 feet from a sewer connection and is a foot lower in grade. The building department requires the waste pipe be buried 18 inches. What should we do?
MP from Pasadena, CA

This is not a desirable problem but hardly unusual. In my hilly neighborhood, many homes are built on mountainsides with the septic tanks and/or fields located uphill. You will need to install a sewage pump, in coordination with a sump, to move the waste up to the sewer line.

There are a few manufacturers that produce these products. Visit the Zoeller Pump Company site to see the types of pump kits available.

Of course, your pump must be sized to move the waste the distance necessary. Also, check valves (also know as "backflow" valves) must be installed to keep sewage from reentering the sump and the building.

As to where the pump should be installed and the precise specifications for pipe depths and the check valves, you need to get some help from a local plumber or the building inspector. Depending on your local plumbing code, you may even be able to do this yourself with proper permits.

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