Can my roof downspout drains be connected to the sanitary sewer?No. Downspouts should be directed to the top of the ground or connected to the storm sewer.
Can my sump pump be connected to the city sanitary sewer system?No. Sump pumps must be discharged onto the top of the ground or connected to the storm sewer.
How far am I responsible for of my sewer?Property owners are responsible for the service connection from the building to the mainline sewer.
I am having some work done on my property and need to locate my home sewer line. Who should I contact?
Call Before You Dig!
Before you start to dig for any project you should have all utilities marked by calling the Ohio Utilities Protection Service at 1-800-362-2764.
In many cases the exact location of a private sewer is not known. The Sewer Department will mark the sewers they are responsible to maintain but not private sewers.
In some cases you may be able to get records on your private sewer by contacting the Engineering Department and asking for information on your sewer permit.
Will the City of Findlay tell me where my downspouts or sump pumps are going to?If no records exist in the Engineering Department, the Sewer Department will dye test your downspout or sump pump free of charge. Any downspout or sump pump found to be connected to the sanitary sewer will be required to be removed at the property owner's expense.
What is an illicit discharge?An illicit discharge is defined as any discharge into a storm drain system that is not composed entirely of storm water. The exception includes water from fire-fighting activities and discharges from facilities already under an NPDES permit. Illicit discharges are a problem because, unlike wastewater which flows to a wastewater treatment plant, storm water generally flows to waterways without any additional treatment. Illicit discharges often include pathogens, nutrients, surfactants, and various toxic pollutants.
Examples of illicit discharges would be disposing of used motor oils, antifreeze, vehicle fluids, or even pet waste into a catch basin. Sanitary sewer lines or washing machine lines connected to the storm sewer system are serious violations of the illicit discharges.
If you see an illicit discharge event, please contact the Storm Water Hotline at 419-424-7121 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. After hours please leave a detailed message including the location, time and material being dumped. If you want a return phone call please leave your name and phone number, but this is not required.
If I see somebody causing an illicit discharge who should I call?The Storm Water Hotline at 419-424-7121 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
After hours please leave a detailed message including the location, time and material being dumped.
If you want a return phone call please leave your name and phone number, but this is not required.
May I pour material down the street drains in front of my house?
No! Material, such as used motor oil, antifreeze, paint etc., are hazardous. The street drains are connected to sewers which may discharge directly to a near-by stream or river, receiving no treatment. All such materials should be recycled or disposed of at an approved location.
Hancock County Residents have the opportunity to bring their old paints, household chemicals and other Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW) to Litter Landing for recycling. This program is open to Hancock County residents only. They do not accept HHW from businesses or organizations.
Litter Landing accepts HHW during April, May, June, July and August, on Mondays only from 10am-1pm. Collections begin April 10, 2017.
For more information, Solid Waste Management District
My drains are not working properly. What should I do?In many cases the problem is in the property owners own sewer or drain line and will require a plumber or sewer cleaner. The Sewer Department will check the City's sewers at your request before a plumber or sewer cleaner is called.
Please call 419-424-7179 Monday-Friday, between 7 a.m to 4 p.m., unless a situation is an emergency.
What is the cause of sewer gas around the house?Sewer gasses may come from a dried out trap, whether that is an unused sink or a little used basement or garage floor drain. These may be corrected by adding water to the drain to refill the trap. Other causes may be a plugged sewer, broken or cracked pipe or plugged vent pipe.
What is the most common cause of sewer blockages?Tree roots and cooking grease/oils are the most common causes. Cooking grease/oils should not be put into drains; they should be disposed of in the garbage.
Are the storm water collection system and the sewer system the same?No, they are two completely different systems. The storm water collection system collects water runoff from the streets through catch basins and then conveys this water directly to the nearest receiving stream without treatment. The sewer collection system collect wastes from the households and businesses and are conveyed to the Water Pollution Control Center for full treatment before being discharged into the Blanchard River.
Are there projects that I can volunteer for to help with storm water pollution clean-up?Yes! Volunteers are always needed for river clean-ups which the City of Findlay has co-coordinated in the past. When dates of river clean-ups become available they will be posted on the City website and in The Courier.
The City of Findlay has conducted a storm water placard program which consists of applying vinyl placards on all catch basins in the City's storm water system. These placards contain the words "NO DUMPING -DRAINS TO THE BLANCHARD RIVER" and have the phone number of the Water Pollution Control Center, 419-424-7187 for the reporting of illegal dumping into these catch basins. Volunteers are always needed to assist in checking and reapplying missing placards throughout the City.
How can I help to stop storm water pollution?
- Never dump anything down the storm drains.
- Sweep up debris on your driveway and sidewalks instead of washing it into the street and then to the stormwater system.
- Pick up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
- Use fertilizers sparingly and avoid pesticides. Learn about integrated pest control.
- Compost your yard waste.
- Vegetate bare spots in your yard.
- Wash your car in your yard instead of on your driveway.
- Check your vehicles for leaks.
- Recycle used motor oil.
- Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces.
- Have your septic tank pumped and system inspected regularly.
How do you know if sewer water is properly treated before discharge into the river?The Water Pollution Control Center has a NPDES permit that is set forth by the Ohio EPA which provides us with the limits and monitoring requirements they deem necessary for our effluent water to be able to meet the clean water standards.
How much sewage flow can the Water Pollution Control Center treat?The facility is designed to treat 15 MGD (million gallons per day) with a peak flow during storm events at 40 MGD. Currently the facility is averaging between 10 -11- MGD.
I have heard the words point source and non-point source used when talking about storm water, what do they mean?
Point source is defined as pollution coming from a single source, such as an industry or wastewater treatment plant. Point source is a discrete conveyance of an effluent's discharge usually through pipes or man-made ditches into a receiving stream. The Clean Water Act put restrictions on how much and what kind of pollutants can be disposed of into the rivers and lakes. Thus usually all point sources are regulated through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) via a permit issued from the EPA or the designated state authority.
Non-point source is pollution which does not have a specific source such as an industry or sewage treatment plant but comes from many diverse sources. Non-point source pollution comes from the cumulative effect of a region's residents going about their everyday activities. Non-point source pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As runoff moves, it picks up debris which contains pollutants and deposits them into the lakes, creeks and rivers. The following are several sources of non-point source pollution:
- Excess fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides from agricultural lands and residential areas
- Oil, grease, and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production
- Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding stream banks
- Salt from irrigation practices and acid drainage from abandoned mines
- Bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes and faulty septic systems
What are some types of storm water pollution? What affect does it have on the Blanchard River & Lake Erie?Sediment, nutrients, bacteria, debris, and household wastes are a few examples of storm water pollution.
Sediment can be harmful to aquatic life such as plants, fish and animals that depend on the water for their livelihood. Sediment can carry chemicals that could cause the oxygen levels in the receiving streams to be dangerously low and unsupportive of plant and fish life. Sediment can also destroy habitats that support aquatic insects and plants.
Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus can cause excessive plant growth such as algae. This algae clogs waterways, block sunlight and reduces oxygen that is available for aquatic life. Common sources for nutrients are fertilizers (lawn and farm), detergents and excrement.
Bacteria can cause disease and other health hazards in both animals and humans. Bacteria can enter the waterways from animal excrement or pet waste, as well as leaking sewers and septic tanks that are not maintained properly.
Debris such as plastic bags, six-pack rings, cans, bottles, cigarette butts, and the like can be washed into the waterways and choke, suffocate, or disable aquatic life like ducks, fish, turtles, and birds. This debris could also contain toxic chemicals and bacteria.
Household wastes which consist of insecticides, pesticides, paint solvents and thinners, petroleum products (gasoline, oil, and grease), auto fluids, etc. deplete oxygen in waterways and could cause toxic effects in living organisms that may be ingested by people.
What are the green paint markings and flags in my yard?The City of Findlay is a member of the Ohio Utilities Protection Service. The Sewer Department marks the location of sewers and sewer structures when it receives notification through the Ohio Utilities Protection Service of excavation in the area. Green paint and flags are the color assigned to sewers and drain lines.
What is a catch basin?A catch basin is a curbside receptacle whose function is to convey storm water from the streets and other urban surfaces into the storm drain system. The design of the basins includes a sump area that captures and temporarily stores some pollutants such as sediment. Catch basins are regularly maintained by the City of Findlay Sewer Maintenance Division.
What is a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)?The regulatory definition of an MS4 (40 CFR 122.26(b) (8) is a "conveyance or system of conveyances(including roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, or storm drains): (i) Owned or operated by a state, city, town, borough, county, parish, district, association, or public body created to or pursuant to state law) including special districts under state law such as a sewer district, flood control district or drainage district, or similar entity, or an Indian tribe or an authorized Indian tribal organization, or designated and approved management agency under section 208 of the Clean Water Act that discharges into waters of the United States. (ii) Designed or used for collecting or conveying storm water: (iii) Which is not combined sewer: and (iv) Which is not part of a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) as defined in 40 CFR 122.2."
What is a Rotary Fee?A rotary fee is charged to connect to a waterline or sanitary sewer that was constructed and paid for by someone else. This fee is then used to reimburse those who paid for the construction. In cases where no party is available to accept a reimbursement or when the waterline (or sewer) was originally constructed by the City, rotary fees are placed in a Rotary Fund, which City Council administers. Lots in subdivisions or parcels that were assessed for the original construction would not be charged a rotary fee.
What is a smoke test?A smoke test is conducted by the City to check for leaks and illegal connections. Smoke is blown through the city sewer to check for these problems. The smoke used is non-hazardous.
What is impervious surface?Impervious surface means those disturbed or hard surfaced areas that either prevent or retard the natural entry of water into the soil. Rooftops, buildings, streets, parking lots, sidewalks, asphalt and concrete driveways are a few examples of impervious surfaces. These improvements can affect natural infiltration, increasing the rate and volume of runoff that drains from an area.
What is storm water and why is the City of Findlay being required to regulate its release?Storm water is water from rain and snowmelt. As rain and snow falls to the earth in agricultural and undeveloped areas, it is absorbed by the soil. The storm water in urban developed areas is less permeable because of impervious surfaces such as rooftops of homes and businesses and paved areas which create a much faster rate of run off. The problem develops when this run off is not detained and conveyed into the City's storm water collection system, then into a river or tributary. Untreated runoff carries pollutants from our daily activities such as gasoline, oils, heavy metals, pop bottles, Styrofoam cups, and paper trash. Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers that are washed from our lawns and other green spaces are contained in this run off.
What is storm water and why should I care about it?Storm water occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, and streets prevent this water from naturally soaking into the ground thus we have what is known as storm water.
Storm water will flow over land surfaces, roadways, sidewalks, parking lots, construction sites, business parks, etc. and pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants. This storm water will flow into a storm sewer or directly to a ditch, run or creek and eventually to the Blanchard River and Lake Erie. Almost all storm water is untreated before it enters these receiving streams. These pollutants will have adverse effect on plants, fish, animals and even people.
Remember, our storm water will eventually be used for drinking water supplies by the City of Toledo and surrounding communities.
What is the City of Findlay required to do about illicit discharges?
Since the City of Findlay is under the Phase II MS4 program the city is required to develop a program to detect and eliminate illicit discharges and this includes the following:
- Develop a storm sewer map of all outfalls within the corporation limits.
- Develop an ordinance prohibiting illicit discharges.
- Develop a plan to detect and address these illicit discharges.
- Develop an education program on the hazards associated with illicit discharges.
Who handles standing water in the roadway?Please contact the Sewer Maintenance Department at 419-424-7187.