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Correct Connect

Correct Connect is Citizens Energy Group's initiative to protect our rivers, streets and homes. By correcting improper connections, we can eliminate rainwater from the sanitary wastewater (sewer) system. This helps reduce basement backups and sewer overflows into rivers, streams and onto streets.

Clear water connections to our sanitary sewers exist throughout our system. Citizens operates and maintains the sanitary system under the approval of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) which prohibits clear water discharges to the sewer system. Many homeowners are not aware there are clear water connections from their homes to the sanitary sewer.

Adobe PDF Correct Connect Brochure

The Problem

Sanitary sewers are designed to transport wastewater from homes to the local treatment plant for processing. However, improper connections can overload the sanitary sewer system by allowing clear water to enter the system, resulting in sewage overflows into our rivers and streams, and causing basement backups.

What are Clear Water Connections?

Damaged sewer laterals - A sewer lateral is the pipe that connects your home's plumbing to Citizens Energy Group's sewers. As pipes naturally age or when tree roots grow into the pipe, sewer laterals can become damaged. Damaged sewer laterals can let clear water from the ground into the sanitary sewer system not just while it is raining, but for hours or days after. Damaged sewer laterals can also cause property owners problems as broken pipes and tree roots stop the lateral from working normally.
Uncapped or broken cleanouts - A cleanout is a point of access for the sewer lateral and is used for inspecting or cleaning. The cleanout is usually a four-inch plastic pipe with a tight-fitting cap. Missing caps or damaged pipes (such as by a lawnmower) can be a large source of clear water into the sewer system.
Downspouts - Downspouts carry water from the top of the house/building to the ground and protect your roof from damage. Downspouts should spill the water onto the ground at least three-feet away from the building. If the downspout disappears into the ground, it may be connected to the sanitary sewer. If improperly connected, with every rain the clear water from your roof has a direct route to the sanitary sewer.

Sump Pumps - Sump pumps protect basements from high groundwater on the outside of the walls. Sump pumps should discharge out of the house and into a yard or have a connection to a storm sewer. If the sump pump pipe connects to the same pipe as your toilets, showers and sinks, that clear water is going to the sanitary sewer. It can take as few as six sump pumps to fill a sewer that serves two hundred homes.

Correct Connect

Is Rain a Problem?

Rain is important to greater Indianapolis residents. It keeps the rivers and wells that provide our drinking water full. It keeps gardens and farms growing, and it keeps our trees and flowers healthy. Unfortunately, rainwater in our sanitary sewers causes serious problems. When this clear water enters our sewers during even a normal rain, it can overload the sewer system, resulting in sewage overflows into our rivers and streams, and causing basement backups.

The Solution

Citizens Energy Group and You: Teaming Up Against Clear Water

As a community, we share the resources that make Indianapolis a great place to raise a family. Citizens Energy Group works tirelessly to protect the public's health and our natural resources. However, clear water is a problem that requires a team solution.

What is Citizens Doing to Address Clear Water?

Currently, our crews are investigating and repairing any sources of clear water found within the Citizens system. In addition, we are identifying sources that are part of the property owners system including damaged sewer laterals, missing clean out caps, connected downspouts and sump pumps. When a clear water source is found, property owners will receive a letter from Citizens informing them of the issue and the need for immediate repair.

What Can You Do?

The first step to bring your property into compliance is to review your connections. Take a look around your house. Do you see any clear water connections? You can fix the clear water sources on your own or contact Citizens if you have questions. The Correct Connect Program can help with information about proper connections, corrections and dye testing to make sure rainwater stays out of the sanitary sewer.
If your see clear water connections in your neighborhood, talk to your neighbors. When it comes to clear water, every little bit matters. Do your part to make sure that you are in compliance with clear water connections and help your neighbors do the same.