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City Spotlights and News Updates

Posted on: July 7, 2020

Project Prevent Backflow

Project Prevent Backflow Headline

The application period for Project Prevent Backflow has now closed. Thank you to all who applied. The City will contact all applicants in mid-August to let you know if you’ve been selected for the homeowner grant program.

Program Description 

View PowerPoint Presentation as prepared for the July 7 City Council Voting Meeting >>
Project Prevent Backflow is designed to assist Whitehall residents install approved backwater valves on their home sewer lines. Program participants will qualify for a discount on the cost of the backwater valve (conducted by a City-certified contractor) based on a sliding scale, commensurate with their income level.


Any Whitehall resident who is living in an owner-occupied single-family dwelling or duplex is eligible for Project Prevent Backflow, except those properties governed by or subject to a home owners association. Applicants must have previously submitted flooding information for either the flooding events that occurred on March 20, 2020 and/or May 18-19, 2020 to the City of Whitehall via the City’s website (you can make that report here). Applicants must also be current of City of Whitehall taxes.

Selection Process

The application period for Project Prevent Backflow has now closed. Thank you to all who applied. The City will contact all applicants in mid-August to let you know if you’ve been selected for the homeowner grant program. 
(Please return all completed applications to Community Affairs at or in-person at City Hall, 360 S. Yearling Road)
The 2020 Project Prevent Backflow participants will be selected at-random from a lottery. All eligible applicants who have submitted a complete application by July 31, 2020 will be entered into the lottery, and notified of their selection by August 19, 2020. Invoices for the amount due will be sent in September to the selected applicants who must remit payment for their portion of the installation cost to the City no later than October 2, 2020.

Prior to construction of the backwater device, the City or its designee will televise the resident’s sanitary sewer lateral.  If it is discovered that a foundation perimeter drain is connected to the sanitary lateral, the home will be deemed ineligible for the program and the owners will be required to disconnect the foundation drain from the sanitary lateral by installing a sump pump that outlets through the curb at the street. Once the foundation drain is rerouted to a sump pump, the subject property will be reconsidered for Project Dry Basement and the resident must resubmit an application form.

Full Program Schedule


Anticipated Date

Applications Open

July 7, 2020

Applications Close

July 31, 2020

Homeowners Notified of
Grant Award 

August 19, 2020

Homeowners Deposits Due

October 2, 2020

Installation Period

October 2020-April 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it cost to participate in the program? Once selected, eligible homeowners will receive a cost-share estimate for the program, based on a sliding scale commensurate with their income level (see below). This cost-sharing is for backflow prevention installation work only. If the plumbing contractor determines that additional work is required in order to install the device, such as rerouting the service line, the contractor will itemize all additional charges and discuss these with the homeowner before any work begins so the homeowner can make an informed decision on whether to proceed. 

Annual Income Range
Number Living in Home150%200%250%300%350%400%450%500%550%
1 $19,140 $25,520 $31,900 $38,280 $44,660 $51,040 $57,420 $63,800 $70,180
2 $25,860 $34,480 $43,100 $51,720 $60,340 $68,960 $77,580 $86,200 $94,820
3 $32,580 $43,440 $54,300 $65,160 $76,020 $86,880 $97,740 $108,600 $119,460
4 $39,300 $52,400 $65,500 $78,600 $91,700 $104,800 $117,900 $131,000 $144,100
5 $46,020 $61,360 $76,700 $92,040 $107,380 $122,720 $138,060 $153,400 $168,740
6 $52,740 $70,320 $87,900 $105,480 $123,060 $140,640 $158,220 $175,800 $193,380
7 $59,460 $79,280 $99,100 $118,920 $138,740 $158,560 $178,380 $198,200 $218,020
8 $66,180 $88,240 $110,300 $132,360 $154,420 $176,480 $198,540 $220,600 $242,660
Reimbursement Rate90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%
Cost to Homeowner* $300 $600 $900 $1,200 $1,500 $1,800 $2,100 $2,400 $2,700

**Assumes cost of installation is $3,000. Actual cost may vary. 

What can I expect during installation? The homeowner must be present to allow access to the basement. The certified plumber who holds the contract with the City of Whitehall will cut the basement floor to access the service line, clean out the service line, install the backwater valve, finish the floor.

How does a backwater valve work? When water rises in the sewer a valve closes, preventing backflow into the basement drain. It is automatic and requires no electricity. Please read and follow all manufacturers’ instructions, such as limiting water use during heavy rainfalls.

Who is responsible for maintenance? The device will become part of your home sewer line, which property owners are responsible for maintaining. Like any mechanical device, routine maintenance is necessary for reliable operation. The manufacturer’s operating instructions will be provided to you at the time of installation. Valves are under warranty and will be replaced if they fail within one year of installation.

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