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The MHOG Utility Department

Proud to Serve:

Municipal water customers in the townships of Marion, Howell, Oceola, and Genoa and sanitary sewer customers in the townships of Genoa and Oceola

For a Sewer or Water



Do's and Dont's when Connecting to Municipal Grinder Sewer Systems

Grinder Pump Systems

A grinder pump is a piece of equipment that processes and pumps household sewage into a low-pressure sewer line. Topography and soil conditions can make gravity feed system very difficult to install on some lots. These pumps convey sewage from homes to the main sewer line.

If your sanitary service is provided by a grinder pump, there are many things to do that will prolong the life of the pump and prevent possible damage to your property. Following are some of the rules to follow if you have a grinder pump.


  • DO call the 24 hour emergency service line at 888-481-0439 as soon as possible when your grinder pump alarm sounds. The alarm will have a red light and a buzzer will sound. To silence the buzzer, push the reset button located on the underside of the panel mounted on the house. Once the alarm is silenced, the light will stay on until the pump system's water level is back to normal depth. If the light remains on, water usage must be restricted or a back-up in the house could occur. DO notify maintenance personnel even if the alarm clears itself.
  • DO practice water conservation. Reducing the amount of water going into the system extends the working life and reduces power consumption.
  • DO call MISS DIG at 800-482-7171 at least 72 hours before performing any digging on your property. Call 888-481-0439 to report any suspected leaks on the low pressure sewer.
  • DO check with a qualified electrician for proper use if you chose to use a generator during a power outage. Any costs incurred as a result of damage to the equipment caused by the generator may be charged to the homeowner. DO NOT contact MHOG to pump out the grinder can as a result of a power outage.
  • DO shut off most breakers during a brownout to avoid damage to the pump systems or appliances in your home. Leaving one breaker on for a light is a good way to know when power is restored.
  • DO discontinue water use during a power outage. You may have municipal water, but your grinder will not operate, which can result in a back-up into your home.


  • DO NOT connect troughs, storm drains or water softeners into the wastewater system. It will increase costs, result in early failure of the system, and can result in a basement backup. Treating storm water costs thousands of dollars per year. Water softener discharge can create permit violations at the sewer plant.
  • DO NOT flush flammable, toxic, cloths, cigarettes, eggshells, sanitary napkins, tampons and applicators or other solid products into the sewer system. This is dangerous to operators and can lead to pump failures and increase maintenance costs.
  • DO NOT overuse garbage disposals. The majority of what is put in a garbage disposal can be put into a waste basket. This will keep the cost of operation and maintenance lower and will prevent early pump failure.
  • DO NOT plant shrubs or trees over the pump system, control panel, or over the discharge line. Flowers and decorative statues are okay as long as they can easily be removed by one person. Use a weed whip instead of a lawn mower to prevent damage to the riser or lid. Repairs and replacement costs may be charged to the property owner for damage caused by motorized machines.
  • DO NOT bury the grinder pump lids. They are required to be at the surface for maintenance and to allow the venting of air into and out of the pump chamber. Additional costs to uncover the access risers may be charged to the property owner.
  • DO NOT put grease down your drains. Hamburger grease and fryer oil can clog lines and pumps and result in a sewer back-up into your home. Allow grease or oil to cool before throwing in the garbage.
  • DO NOT build fences, decks or sheds over sewer mains or leads. Anything that prevents access, if there is a break, could be destroyed during repairs. If you are unsure where your sewer lead is, please contact the MHOG Utility Department, we will provide you with a lead sheet. Also, call MISS DIG before excavating anything on your property.