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Detroit Lakes Public Utilities urges residents to limit water usage and switch sump pump discharges

Due an overload in the city's sewer system because of recent heavy rainfall, Detroit Lakes Public Utilities staff are asking residents to switch their sump pumps to outside discharge and limit water usage in an effort to limit sewage backups on various properties, according to a news release from the City of Detroit Lakes.

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Vernell Roberts, general manager for Detroit Lakes Public Utilities, gives a tour of wastewater anaerobic, anoxic and aerobic zones at the new Detroit Lakes wastewater treatment plant during their open house on May 18, 2021. The new $33 million facility eliminates 94% of phosphorus and 75% of nitrogen from the plant's outflow, which ends up in Lake St. Clair.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — Detroit Lakes Public Utilities staff are asking residents to switch their sump pumps to outside discharge and limit water usage in an effort to limit sewage backups on various properties due to recent heavy rainfall on May 12.

According to a City of Detroit Lakes news release, recent rainfall has led to an overload of the city's sewer system, which could cause backups into people's homes.

Sump pump water should be diverted outside and drain away from buildings to prevent re-circulation.

"The city recommends discharging into backyards and coordinating with neighbors to ensure sump pump water is not causing drainage concerns," the news release stated. "Additionally, sump pump drainage hoses cannot cross sidewalks or be positioned in a way that allows the water to pool on sidewalks."

All residents within the city should have already been discharging their sump pumps outside starting on March 15 as per city ordinance, including properties with a sump pump permit for winter months, the news release stated. The sump pumps also "must" divert outside for the remainder of the year.

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If residents have questions or concerns about discharging a sump pump outside, please contact City Administration at: 218-847-7609.

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