Covid-19 Updates and Information

Sewer

Sewer System connection

Most of Munford's sewer system customers are connected using a "Gravity" Sewer System connection.   About 350 residences in Munford use the alternative STEP Sewer System which includes a holding tank for sewage, a screen chamber, and a small pressure pump within the tank.  The liquid waste is pumped through a small pressure line into the city-wide sewer lines leading to Munford's wastewater treatment plant.  The city of Munford also treats and disposes of the sewer for Atoka and Brighton.

What is a “STEP” Systems

Many City of Munford sewer customers rely on a “STEP sewer system” to discharge household wastewater to Munford’s city-wide sewer system.   “STEP” stands for “Septic Tank Effluent Pump” and these systems are used throughout the United States.   If you are one of our STEP customers, it’s important that you are aware of that fact, and understand how it works at your location.

For STEP system customers, household wastewater spends time in a STEP sewer tank before heading out to the “main” sewer collection lines that terminate at Munford’s wastewater treatment plant.

That is, there is a "STEP in-between" flushing your toilet and that wastewater entering the city-wide gravity sewer system.     Below is information to help you maintain your STEP system and information on what to do if you have an alarm that is triggered.

How Do STEP Systems Work?

STEP systems include a holding tank for sewage, a screen chamber, and a small pressure pump within the tank. The liquid waste is pumped through a small pressure line into sewer lines leading to the City of Munford Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The STEP system pump is controlled by a system of floats within your tank. The electrical box mounted on the side of your house controls the floats and pumps. The floats activate an alarm in the electrical (alarm) box when the fluid level in the tank gets too high or too low.

The City may visit your STEP system location in order to assess its status and perform maintenance.

When Your STEP Alarm Sounds

  • Silence the alarm - Locate the alarm box on the exterior of your home and push the red button to silence the alarm. The red light will stay on as long as there is an alarm condition.
  • VERY IMPORTANT -- Call (901) 837-0171 to report a STEP alarm condition, regardless of day or time -- unless your alarm went off during a power outage (see info below for a power outage).  Or if your STEP system has just been serviced by the City’s personnel. 

DURING WORKING HOURS:  If you call during City Hall working hours, one of our Front Desk staff will take your information and dispatch a Service Technician. 

AFTER WORKING HOURS:   If you call after City Hall working hours, your call will be answered by the Automated Operator.   Select the EMERGENCY choice and leave a VOICEMAIL stating this is a “STEP ALARM ALERT”, along with your name, address and phone number.   Our “On-Call” technician monitors this line 24 hours per day and will respond as soon as possible.

Alarm Sounding Following a Power Outage

Your STEP alarm may sound after power has returned following an outage. If this happens, you only need to silence the alarm. You DO NOT need to call the City unless your tank is overflowing, or the alarm light stays on for more than 6 hours.

See "Steps to Follow During and After a Power Outage" below for more information.

Alarm Light On After System is Serviced

The alarm light being on after servicing is normal.  When the City comes out and services your system, your alarm light may stay on. The light will stay on until the tank level is high enough to trigger the pump to start. This may take 2 - 14 days.

Important Information For Homeowners with STEP Systems

Your Tank Riser Lid Must Remain Visible and Accessible.  This helps us locate your system quickly in an emergency situation. A hidden or inaccessible lid means that your STEP system cannot be serviced.  You must maintain a 2-foot clearance around the tank lid and it must NOT be covered by sod, shrubs, or bark. Landscaping items, e.g., shrubs and trees, which obstruct access to the tank lids, may be damaged during the performance of operation and maintenance activities. In accordance with the STEP system easement, the owner waives any claim against the City for damage to said items in the case where work by the City is done in a reasonable manner

You can place items weighing less than 15 pounds, (e.g., birdbath, potted plant, or other yard decoration) on the lid, as long as they can be easily removed for maintenance.

Your Alarm Box Must Remain Visible and Accessible

You must maintain a 3-foot clearance around and in front of the electrical (alarm) box. This means no shrubs or fences can block the box. This allows technicians to access the box to perform routine and emergency maintenance. Per Electrical Code.

When putting up a new fence, please make sure your alarm box is located in front of your fence line. If your alarm box is located behind a fence, we cannot perform maintenance unless you are home.

DO NOT Flush or Dispose of Items that Can Block Your System

Below is a list of some of the items that when placed down the drain or toilet can block your “STEP” system and prevent it from working correctly. *

  • Disposable diapers or flushable wipes
  • Q- tips or cotton balls/swabs
  • Egg shells, nutshells, and coffee grounds
  • Sanitary napkins, tampons, condoms, or any non-organic material
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Hair
  • Dental floss
  • Food items containing seeds and peelings
  • Fats, oils, and greases

Limit or eliminate your use of a garbage disposal. Instead, consider composting your food waste items.

*Routine maintenance of a STEP system is the City's responsibility. But if extra maintenance or cleaning is required due to disposal of inappropriate materials, the maintenance costs may be billed directly to the property owner or resident.

Important Steps to Follow During and After a Power Outage?

Call Southwest Tennessee Electric to report your power outage at 1-888-440-1990

Conserve water! Your STEP system has small storage capacity. Without electricity, you can expect your tank to fill within one or two days. It is, important that you take immediate actions to limit your water use.

Silence your alarm after power is restored

Push the red button on your alarm box to silence the alarm. Note that it can take 3-4 hours for the system to pump down enough for the light to go off. You DO NOT need to call the City* unless your tank is overflowing or the alarm light stays on for more than 6 hours. If your tank is overflowing or your alarm light has been on for more than 6 hours, call (901) 837-5974, 24 hours a day.

Wait at least 30 minutes before returning to normal water use

This will give your system time to pump down.

What is the City of Munford Responsible For?

  • Repairing and maintaining the STEP system tank, electrical (alarm) box, and outlet lines from the tank.
  • Checking the system and sludge levels in the tank and when necessary, sludge removal
  • Periodically checking and removing the sludge in the tank.

What Am I Responsible for as Owner/Resident?

  • Repairing and maintaining the home plumbing and sewer line from the house to the STEP system tank
  • Damages to the home or STEP system that occur due to the City's inability to access the STEP system (e.g., electrical box behind a fence)
  • Providing electricity for the pump and controls
  • Calling to report an alarm, and minimizing water use during an emergency
  • Eliminating the disposal of improper material into the STEP system*

*Routine maintenance of a STEP system is the City's responsibility. But if extra maintenance or cleaning is required due to disposal of inappropriate materials, the maintenance costs may be billed directly to the property owner or resident.

Conventional Gravity Flow

This type of sewer systems go directly from the home to the Sewer Collection system and then it is pumped to the Sewer Treatment facility by lift stations (if required).

The Owner and Resident is responsible for maintaining the sewer lines from the home to the road connection.  The owner and resident is also responsible for eliminating the disposal of improper material into the sewer system.

 

 

 

 

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