Grinder Pump Systems

Grinder Pumps
The grinder pump assembly is the central part of the customer's sewer system. It consists of an in-ground reservoir, a grinder mechanism, a pressure pump, on / off control device and an electrical panel. The wastewater is collected in the reservoir until the water level reaches a point where an internal float turns on the grinder pump.

The wastewater is then pulled through the grinder mechanism and pressure pumped through the yard line to the sewer mainline, in most cases located on the edge of the street. The grinder panel, located close to the grinder, is equipped with a red flashing light and / or a buzzer that alarms when the level in the reservoir is not being pumped down and a pending overflow issue could be experienced.
A black and white sketch of a grinder pump
Any time a resident sees the red light on, even if it is just for a few seconds, they should contact the City Utility office, including after hours and on weekends.

If you experience problems with your sewer system, please call the City prior to calling a plumber. The Emergency Water/Sewer phone number is the same as the office number 830-598-8741.

Potential Problems
Several problems can cause a grinder system to fail. These problems include:
  • Disposal of non-biodegradable materials down the toilet.
  • Feminine hygiene product lodged in the grinder mechanism.
  • Grease or powdered soap scum build up in the reservoir, causing float control failure.
  • Electrical problems including house electrical breakers tripping, fire ants, and component failure.
Customers can help prevent costly grinder pump repairs by taking steps to prevent the common things that cause failure.

Preventative Measures

Preventive measures that will help maintain a long and dependable service are:
  • Ensure that no trash is flushed down the sewer drains (grinder blades jam and pump will not work).
  • Pour grease in a container and put it in the trash instead of pouring it down the drain (grease coagulates in cool water of grinder basins, restricting on / off float switches).
  • Utilize liquid soaps for dish washing and laundry (powder soaps coagulate in cool water of grinder basins restricting on/off float switches).
  • Pour enzymes (free at City Hall) down the drain to promote treatment process within grinder basin.
  • Never disconnect or turn off breaker to grinder pump when leaving town. Toilet or faucet leaks can overflow grinder basins, back up into house drains and cause damage to pumps
  • Be alert to any unusual noises or red light coming from the grinder system and report them to the City as soon as possible, even after hours, at 830-598-8741.
Please make sure everyone who utilizes your home is aware of these facts.

More Information
If you need further information or have any question related to the grinder pumps contact the City office at 830-598-8741.