To Our JCW Customers,
As the novel coronavirus COVID-19 begins to impact our community and daily lives, we want to assure you that we are monitoring developments very closely and taking action daily to protect and support customers and employees. As such, a few changes to the processes for eligibility determination and final completion verification have been made and are updated below.
In the past, some Johnson County homeowners have faced the frustrating challenge of basement flooding during extremely heavy rains. There are several common causes for wet basements. Because Johnson County Wastewater wants to help you better protect your home during these rains, a Backup Prevention Program is available to homeowners. This program is voluntary and provides funding to eligible homeowners so they may install a backup prevention device or make plumbing modifications on their property.
There are many options available under this program. A contractor and Johnson County Wastewater will work with you to determine the option that offers the best solution for your property. Since the plumbing system in each home is unique, a contractor must inspect and determine the best solution to protect your property from future sewer backup. This may include a combination of options recommended by Johnson County Wastewater and the contractor.
This program is intended to help protect your home from future backups during heavy rains. However, a backup device or these plumbing modifications will not resolve basement water problems caused by cracks in walls, floors, window well leakage, and surface water flooding.
Johnson County Wastewater serves most cities in Johnson County. Only residents served by Johnson County Wastewater are eligible for this assistance. To be eligible for the program, your home must have experienced a confirmed sanitary sewer basement backup as a result of an intense rain event. The backup must have been the direct result of capacity problems in the sanitary sewer system. Johnson County Wastewater will be responsible for confirming whether you are a qualified homeowner and will determine eligibility through the following process:
- Determine if your property is located in a flood-prone area.
- Review Sanitary Sewer Backup Response Questionnaire submitted by the homeowner.
- Determine if your neighbors are also experiencing sanitary sewer backups.
- Check Johnson County Wastewater's history of cleaning and televising of the line.
- In an effort to reduce the risk of spreading the Coronavirus, Johnson County Wastewater will not be conducting on-site visits for the Backup Prevention Program. Determination of eligibility to participate in the program will be done remotely.
- Please complete the Sanitary Sewer Backup Response Questionnaire either online or ask that one be sent to you. All property owners who report a sanitary sewer backup need to also complete the questionnaire.
- Johnson County Wastewater reviews each questionnaire and evaluates each property to determine whether basement flooding was the direct result of a sewer backup. Homeowners will receive a letter from the utility detailing the property's status. If you do not qualify, you may email Johnson County Wastewater to request a discussion of the decision in greater detail.
- If you are eligible, you will receive an information packet, including:
- Details on the backup prevention procedure.
- An agreement that must be signed before any work by the contractor begins.
- A copy of the release you will sign once the contractor completes the specified work on your property.
- Once you receive the information packet, you will obtain two (2) estimates for work to be performed on your property. Johnson County Wastewater has compiled a list of contractors for your convenience only. Contractors placed on the list have confirmed interest in this program and have attended an informational meeting on the Backup Prevention Program. Copies of the estimates and agreements may be submitted either by scanning and emailing to email@example.com or by U.S. mail to Johnson County Wastewater, ATTN: Troy Young, 4800 Nall Avenue, Mission, KS 66202. At this time, you may elect not to participate in the program and should indicate this on the bottom portion of the agreement.
- Johnson County Wastewater will then review the estimates. For your protection, additional estimates may be required. Johnson County Wastewater will notify you of the approved estimate.
- Schedule the work to be done on your property. The contractor is responsible for all permits and city inspections.
- In an effort to reduce the risk of spreading the Coronavirus, Johnson County Wastewater will not be conducting on-site visits for the Backup Prevention Program. The Plumbing contractor should take photos of the work and provide copies with the plumber's final invoice.
- Following Johnson County Wastewater's confirmation of installation, please sign and return the release form which was enclosed in your information packet. Once this has been completed, Johnson County Wastewater will either make payment to you (if you have provided verification of your payment to the contractor) or to the contractor. You will be responsible for any additional costs not outlined in the estimates you submit.
Options under the Backup Prevention Program
A Johnson County Wastewater representative is available to meet with you and your contractor to discuss all options in deciding the best possible solution for your property.
Backup Prevention Valve
A contractor may recommend installation of a backup prevention valve on the sanitary sewer service line just before it exits your house. This will require that a small portion of the basement floor be removed and the service line exposed for installation of the valve. Due to the regular maintenance required by the valve, Johnson County Wastewater recommends that the valve be installed in a location which is easily accessible on a regular basis.
Sewage Ejector Pump
A contractor may recommend a sewage ejector pump as an alternate to a backup prevention valve when floor and laundry drains are the only basement plumbing fixtures. Sewage ejector pumps are located in the basement and the drain lines from floor drains and sinks are connected to its basin. The pump located inside the basin has a float system that when activated will move solids and liquids to a higher elevation before it enters the home's sanitary plumbing again.
Johnson County Wastewater's list of contractors is for your convenience only. Contractors placed on the list have confirmed interest in this program and have attended an informational meeting on the Backup Prevention Program. Property owners are not obligated to employ a contractor on the list, and have the right to obtain a bid from any contractor.
Contractors performing work under this program shall maintain commercial general liability, including completed Operations coverage with a minimum limit of $500,000 combined single limit property damage and bodily injury liability, and Worker's Compensation coverage, if required by the State of Kansas or Missouri, depending on the place of business. Missouri contractors who maintain Worker's Compensation coverage shall have an "All States" endorsement included on their coverage.
Johnson County Wastewater does not endorse or recommend contractors for the purpose of installing backup prevention devices or the installation of sewage ejector pump systems. Any contractor who generates numerous complaints from property owners or neglects to perform quality workmanship shall be removed from the list at the discretion of Johnson County Wastewater.
Responsibility and Liability
- The contractor is responsible for all permits and city inspections.
- The Plumbing contractor should take photos of the work and provide copies with the plumber’s final invoice.
- All work performed under the Backup Prevention Program will be warranted by the contractor for a period of not less than one (1) year following the date of installation.
- Prior to the beginning of any work, an agreement must be signed by the property owner and returned to Johnson County Wastewater.
- Following completion of work, the property owner must sign a release form and return it to Johnson County Wastewater.
- In an effort to reduce the risk of spreading the Coronavirus, Johnson County Wastewater will not be conducting on-site visits for the Backup Prevention Program. Confirmation of the completed work will be done by reviewing photos submitted by the Plumbing contractor.
- No payment will made to the property owner or the contractor until both forms have been submitted.
- Any property owner refusing to sign an agreement or release will not be eligible for funding under Johnson County Wastewater's Backup Prevention Program.
- Routine cleaning of the backup prevention valve will be the responsibility of the property owner from the date of installation.
- Any maintenance, repair, or replacement costs associated with the backup prevention valve or any modifications of the plumbing shall be the responsibility of the property owner following the one (1) year warranty period.
Johnson County Wastewater
- Johnson County Wastewater shall not be responsible for any malfunction of the valve or plumbing modification which results in a sanitary sewer backup.
- Johnson County Wastewater shall provide a copy of the release form to the property owner prior to the completion of any work.
- The Backup Prevention Program funding covers only new devices and installations.
Recommended Annual Backwater Valve Maintenance
Since 1984, Johnson County Wastewater has spent in excess of $84 million to reduce the number of wet weather-related backups into homes and businesses. During this time, Johnson County Wastewater has reduced the number of annual wet weather sewer backups from more than 1,000 in the early 1980s to about 20 today. While the department has made great progress in this area, there are remaining problem areas where solutions have been more difficult to implement. As the department continues to study these difficult areas, property owners are encouraged to perform annual checks on the backwater valve to ensure that it is operating properly. This is particularly important prior to the spring storm season. This link will provide information regarding the operation and maintenance requirements of a typical backwater valve. Any maintenance, repair, or replacement costs associated with the backup prevention valve or any modifications of the plumbing shall be the responsibility of the property owner following the one (1) year warranty period.
For additional information:
This link provides you with the Back-up Prevention Program brochure