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Humboldt rolling out storm water rebate program

Water has been an issue for many people this year, including the City of Humboldt and its residents. Now, they are rolling out a program that offers people a bit of relief.
The diagram at right, provided by the city, shows proper foundation drainage, with the water from the sump pump and weeping tile systems entering the storm water sewer system, not the sanitary sewer system.

Water has been an issue for many people this year, including the City of Humboldt and its residents. Now, they are rolling out a program that offers people a bit of relief.At their regular meeting on July 26, city council approved a Storm Water Rebate Program that will encourage all property owners to flood-proof their homes. The program will also, hopefully, help the city limit widespread sewer backups through the sanitary sewer system when there are major storm events.The program will be open to everyone, both residential and commercial property owners in the city, explained Acting City Manager Sandra Pauli."The goal is to get as many people as possible to look at their systems and change them if necessary," explained Mayor Malcolm Eaton. "This is not a one-time program. Funding will be allocated by council every year."The program will focus, and provide rebates to property owners, on the installation of backflow devices, as well as ensuring sump pump systems and weeping tile systems are properly discharged. Property owners will have to apply for the program and the completed work will have to be inspected and passed by the city before the rebate funds are issued, Pauli noted.As part of the program, the city will be providing diagrams and documents explaining correct and incorrect hookups for the sump pump and weeping tile systems, neither of which will be allowed to flow into the sanitary sewer system. All work is expected to follow the guidelines set out in the National Building Code for the size of the sump pump depending on the square footage of the property.Property owners will receive $100 for the installation of a SCA approved backwater valve, $150 for the installation of a properly discharged sump system, and $500 for disconnecting their weeping tile system from the sanitary sewer system and properly discharging it. The weeping tile rebate is contingent upon having to remove concrete or dirt to change the system, noted Eaton. If a property owner completes all three of the actions, they will receive a total of $1,000.The majority of the discussion at council focused on the financial implications of the introduction of the program. While a similar program introduced in 2007 only received just over 20 application in a two-year span, councillors commented that a lot of residents didn't even know about the program.Council capped the funding for the program at $35,000 for 2010, but people who complete the work and are approved after that amount is spent will receive the rebates in 2011. If the funding does run out for 2010, the city will inform residents, so they can decide whether or not to do the work this year, added Pauli."This is a bit of a shot in the dark," said Eaton. "We have to set a number and see how many people apply. Hopefully, this covers 30-40 homes, which would be a great start."The rebate program will be funded by the storm water levy introduced by the city earlier this summer.

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