The City of Alta will start inspecting sanitary sewer connections of all homes in Alta on Feb. 5 to check for illegal taps of sump pumps and roof drains, an issue which city officials say has become a growing problem in recent years.
Andy Anderson, the city's Code Enforcer Inspector, will lead the sump pump inspection process throughout the next few months, and said the undertaking, which was last conducted on this scale in the 1970s, would likely last until roughly June or July.
"I'd like to say this whole process will only take a week, but I can safely say that this will probably last well into the summer," Anderson said. "Especially if both parents work there may not be someone at home when I stop by their house, and then I will have to set up appointments and go back after hours to visit all of the houses in town. It's going to take a while."
Anderson will begin entering homes on the east side of town and will work his way across the city street by street, making sure that sump pumps, roof drains and downspouts surrounding each home divert water away from the city's sewer system instead of into it.
This is to prevent overloading of the sewer system's myriad pipes and drains, which Anderson said has the potential of causing a number of problems, particularly during the spring, when heavy rains are more apt to occur around the area.
"In the past few years, particularly in April, May and June, we have been getting more water into the system than we have been able to pump out, and that overloads everything," Anderson said. "We need to straighten the amount of water coming into the system so we don't have those problems in the future. We want to correct the situation now before any of those situations can take place.
Anderson also said he would work with residents to help them understand the reason behind the check-ups, and said he thinks the program will help eventually eliminate the overloading problem in the sanitary sewer system as townspeople recognize the importance of not diverting extra water into the sewers.
"If we find that someone has been doing this, we're going to talk to them and give them a certain amount of time to get unhooked and correct the problem," Anderson said. "There is a city ordinance dealing with this topic, and every place I visit I'll be handing a brochure to the residents explaining why we're doing this and how they can help with this. I think that will help to make all of this clear to people and help them understand we we're doing this and why we need to do it."