Grinder Pump? Power Outage? Instructions below.

Power Outage Information for Little Pond Area Property Owners with Sewer Grinder Pumps *

The power is currently out through much of Falmouth, including of course much of Falmouth Heights and Maravista.  Eversource is working to restore power.

If you are out of Town (i.e., not at your Falmouth property), you do not need to be concerned about your grinder pump and no action is needed.  When the power is restored, your grinder pump will be ready to operate again.

If you are living in your Falmouth property and do not have a back-up generator powering your grinder pump, then please limit water use until your power is restored.  There is 38-46 gallons of storage capacity in the grinder pump unit, depending on the level in the tank when the power went out.  Once that storage is full, wastewater will begin to back up in the sewer line in the building.   Please note that if wastewater were to back up, it would back up first at the lowest point in the building (basement drain, if you have one, or the lowest drain on the first floor if you do not have basement plumbing).The “remote sentry” (the small battery-powered alarm panel your contractor installed inside your home; it looks like a thermostat) will go into alarm when there is 23 gallons of storage remaining in the grinder pump unit.   You can silence the remote sentry alarm by pushing the “silence” button on the front of the remote sentry.**

A standard modern low-flow toilet uses about 1.6 gallons per flush.  Older toilets can use 3.6 gallons per flush or more.   If you have a low-flow toilet, the pump unit should have capacity for 23-28 toilet flushes when the power first goes out, and for 14 more flushes after the “remote sentry” alarm goes off, before your sewer line begins to back up.   Older/higher flow toilets will obviously use up this capacity with fewer flushes.

If you are living in the house, your power has been out for more than 24 hours, your remote sentry has gone into alarm and/or you have reason to believe you will run out of wastewater storage capacity, please call Amy Lowell, Wastewater Superintendent, at (508) 221-1077.   Ms. Lowell will coordinate emergency generator service as needed.  A contractor will be dispatched to the property, will run an extension cord from a generator on their truck to the pump control panel, and will provide power to run the pump long enough to pump down the unit (a few minutes).  When this is complete, the pump unit capacity will return to 38-46 gallons, so water use should still be limited after a pump down, until power is restored to the property.

hank you for your patience and cooperation during this extreme weather event.

*If you have non-grinder-pump-related emergency issuesduring this weather event you may call the Town of Falmouth’s Emergency Operations Center at: (508) 495-2602.

**To test that the remote sentry is operational, push the TEST button behind the remote sentry’s front cover, which should cause a red light to flash and an audible tone.  If this indication does not occur, the batteries require replacement.  The sentry requires four three-volt coin-type lithium batteries (CR2032 or equivalent).  These should be available at Walmart and other retailers.

***As always, if your property has power and you have reason to believe your grinder pump is malfunctioning, please call FR Mahony, 508 765-0051 for warranty service.A Amy Lowell Wastewater Superintendent 416 Gifford Street Falmouth, MA 02540 (508) 457-2543 x 3018