What is a grinder pump?

A grinder pump is a waste management device.  It is used to pump sanitary sewage from a building to the municipal sewerage system when the building's plumbing is at a lower grade than the main or when there is not enough slope to allow sewage to gravity flow to the municipal system.  Household waste from toilets, sinks and washing machines flows through the home's pipes into the grinder pump's holding tank.  Once the waste inside the tank reaches a specific level, the pump will turn on, grind the waste into a fine slurry, and pump it to the municipal sewer system.
The components of a grinder pump system consist of the pump, a tank and an alarm panel.  The pump has a level sensing device called a "float".  If the pump malfunctions and the waste level in the holding tank rises above a certain level, the alarm panel should alert the homeowner that the pump is experiencing problems.  It is highly recommended that the alarm panel should have both an indicator light and an audible alarm.
Grinder pump systems are prone to grease buildup which could lead to pump failure.  Regular pump maintenance is recommended.  Certain items such as sanitary napkins, diapers, kitty litter, paint, oil (both motor and cooking oils), should not be flushed or poured down any drain, whether the home is connected to a gravity sewer system, grinder pump system or septic tank.  Disposable wipes are not recommended for grinder pump systems. 
Fortunately, most of WTMA's customers are served by gravity sewer systems. WTMA permits connection of structures served by grinder systems to the municipal sewerage system only when service cannot be achieved via a gravity system.  Grinder systems are appliances that are solely owned and maintained by the property owner.
You can contact the WTMA office for additional information on grinder pumps.

WTMA will provide property owners with a "loaner" pump if their grinder pump fails. The owner must sign an agreement to have the pump serviced by a Certified Hydromatic Service Center prior to returning it within 30 days (you may also download the agreement - see below). You may call the office to request information on grinder pumps at any time.

Several plumbers/contractors in this area have attended a grinder pump installation, repair and maintenance seminar.  Keep this list for easy reference. Before making expensive repairs, we recommend that you obtain at least 3 quotes.

Should your pump fail: Call a plumber
Call WTMA for a "loaner" (717) 627-2379

Complete Grinder Pump Specifications May Be Obtained At The Authority Office