Q: Why is it illegal in most towns to have a sump pump that drains water directly into the sewer?

— Bruce, Dayton, Ohio

A: Richard Trethewey replies: Actually, it's a fairly practical matter. Storm water, whether it comes from your sump or your gutters, is considered clean, so there's no reason to send it to a sewage treatment plant. Mixing it with sewage would just add to the volume that has to be treated, and those extra treatment costs would come right out of your wallet, in the form of tax dollars. I don't know about you, but I'm always glad for the chance to keep a few of those.
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