May 22, 2023 Fox 11 News Report regarding sump pump installation program

Phase 1-Education and Outreach (on-going)

The Department of Public Works sent letters to properties that may be lacking a sump pump based on the age of the home and City records. The purpose of this letter is to educate residents of the detriments of inflow and infiltration as it pertains to the sanitary sewer system, sewage treatment costs, and sewer capacity. The letter gives information about the upcoming program and future mandate requiring that all properties install sump pump systems. 

May 2023 Education and Outreach Letter

October 2023 Education and Outreach Letter

Phase 2-Further Field Investigation

The Department of Public Works will begin site investigations for sump pumps. The plumbing inspector will first inspect properties that self-identify as having sump pump systems in Phase 1-Education and Outreach and ensure the inspected sump pump systems are in compliance with the City of De Pere Municipal Codes. It is anticipated that the inspector will complete field and in-home inspections of these properties. 

Phase 3-Foundation Drain Disconnection Program Implementation/Sump Pump Installation

Foundation Drain Disconnection Program (Sump Pump Installation) Policy

The purpose for this program is to disconnect foundation drains from the sanitary sewer and reconnect these drains to a newly installed sump pump. The sump pump will then discharge the groundwater to the surface or a storm lateral, if available and connected.

Starting retroactively dating back to January 1, 2023, the City of De Pere is administering a Foundation Drain Disconnection Program to promote the disconnection of foundation drains from the sanitary sewer and have sump pumps installed to reduce inflow and infiltration into the City's sanitary sewer.

Being a property owner led program, preliminary funding for work will be the responsibility of the property owner except for payment plans provided by contractors/plumbers. Once work is permitted and inspected by the City's Building Inspection team, the City will reimburse the property owner directly per the terms and conditions of the program. The City will reimburse the following costs for those properties who volunteer to hire a plumber to disconnect their foundation drains and install sump pumps:

  • 80% of work with a maximum reimbursement of $4,000. This covers up to $5,000 in total work completed for those properties volunteering to participate. 

When there are no more properties volunteering for this program, the City will then begin to mandate foundation drain disconnection and sump pump installation. Once the mandate goes into effect, the cost share will be reduced to the following:

  • 50% of work with a maximum reimbursement of $2,500. This covers up to $5,000 in total work completed for those properties where the City mandates that foundation drains are disconnected and a sump pump is installed.

A list of local plumbers who can complete this work is included in the link below.

Plumbers List

Reimbursement is for the work required to install a sump pump and disconnect the foundation drain from the sanitary lateral. This includes digging through the basement floor to disconnect foundation drains and installing a sump pump crock, sump pump, and associated appurtenances to discharge the clear water to the lawn. Additional underdrain installation or storm sewer lateral installation to the right-of-way would not be reimbursable under this program. Please note that a foundation drain is different from the floor drain in the basement. A floor drain is a physical drain in the basement floor, whereas a foundation drain is a network of pipes underneath the basement meant to collect groundwater. 

The diagram below provides examples of eligible and ineligible work associated with the program for reimbursement.

Sump Pump Diagram

The following steps are required prior to requesting reimbursement:

  1. Completion of a preliminary walkthrough with Building Inspection Staff and Engineering Staff (if needed for televising) to determine the applicability of the program and if a sump pump is required. If the program does not apply, please see the exemption section. A preliminary walkthrough can be scheduled by calling the Building Inspection Division at 920-339-4052.
  2. Homeowner requests quotes from contractors and plumbers and evaluates if they would like to proceed in this program.
  3. Selected plumber/contractor acquires a plumbing permit through the Building Inspection Division.
  4. Selected plumber/contractor completes the foundation drain disconnection and sump pump installation.
  5. An inspection of the work is completed by the Building Inspection Division as part of the permit.
  6. After inspection, all invoices are submitted for review for reimbursement to Chase Kuffel, Assistant City Engineer, at

The reimbursement process may take a few weeks to complete. Once Engineering Staff receives all invoices for the foundation drain disconnection, sump pump installation, and associated work, they will review for applicability. Once the reimbursement amount is determined, the corresponding invoices will be marked for reimbursement and forwarded on to administrative staff for inclusion on the next Common Council meeting for consideration and approval. Homeowners will be notified of this invoice amount once it is passed on for inclusion on the Common Council agenda. After approval and once the check is cut, Engineering Staff will send a letter to the property owner with the reimbursement check.

FDDP Flow Chart


Any property not required to have a sump pump pursuant to the Uniform Dwelling Code shall be considered exempt from this program. Properties that do not have foundation drains are exempt from this program. Generally, these are properties constructed on a slab, built with a crawl space, or older structures with field stone basements. To receive an exemption, the property will need to be inspected by the Building Inspection Division and an exemption letter will be provided.


Permitting and inspections will be completed through the City's Building Inspection Division. Contractors will be required to obtain a plumbing permit for the improvements related to disconnecting foundation drains and installing sump pumps. Work will need to be approved either through an in-person inspection by Building Inspection staff or through the review of a post-construction televising of the property owner's sanitary sewer lateral with a signed affidavit from a licensed/master plumber that the work is following the City's Municipal Code.

Plumbing Permit