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Footing Drain & Sump Pump Inspection Program

The City of La Porte City will begin conducting mandatory footing drain inspections for sewer customers in La Porte City to verify that footing drains, foundation drains, sump pumps, roof drains, downspouts and other clear water sources are not connected to the sanitary sewer system.

Like many cities in Iowa, La Porte City faces a challenge with its sanitary sewer system. During rainfall events the system is overloaded by excess ground water and rain water (clear water). Excess clear water in the sanitary sewer collection system leads to unnecessarily high flows in the sanitary sewer. These high flows can result in basement sewage backups, bypassing of untreated wastewater and increased taxpayer costs to treat water that does not need to be treated.

The City has been separated into seven sectors, to stagger inspection times over the next three years. A link to a City map with the seven sectors highlighted is below.

Property owners will be notified via mail when the City will begin inspections in the sector where their property is located. To complete and inspection, inspectors will need access to the property and basement to observe exterior grading, roof drains, sump pit/pump, and seepage collection system if present.  For fairness to customers, all buildings with a sewer account will be inspected, regardless of whether a basement or sump pump is present. 

To ensure customer safety, all inspections will be scheduled and conducted by public works staff who will present proper identification. No door-to-door inspections will be conducted. Inspections will be completed between the hours of 7:00 am and 7:00 pm. A typical inspection is completed in under 15 minutes. There will be no fee for the initial inspection.

Chapter 101 of the La Porte City Code of Ordinances prohibits clear water connections into the sanitary sewer and authorizes the City to conduct inspections to verify that buildings do not have clear water connections. It also authorizes the application of a sanitary sewer surcharge equal to the base monthly sewer fee be added to sewer bills for buildings that have not been inspected and passed.

Inspection Map

Chapter 101 - Footing Drain Inspection Program

Frequently Asked Questions