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Grinder pumps are popping up around Indy`s neighborhoods as part of sewer project

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - About 900 homeowners in Indianapolis are joining the city's sewage system this year and with that comes some growing pains.

“It all looks pretty bad around here I think," Ravenswood resident Kevin Wilson said. "I don’t think anyone is too happy about it.”

Citizen Energy Group took control the city's sewer system in 2011. Last year, the company starting installing new low-pressure sewer systems for new neighborhoods joining the network instead of traditional systems that rely on gravity. With the low-pressure alternative, most homes require a grinder pump to feed the sewage to the main sewer lines. There are currently dozens that have not been installed yet sitting in the front yards of homes on Westfield Boulevard on the north side.

“With this new low-pressure system we can use smaller pipe, which means a lot less disruption for the neighborhood," Citizen Energy Group Spokesman Dan Considine said. "But just as importantly it means a much lower cost to homeowners.”

Considine explained in the past for homeowner to connect to the city's sewer system it would cost them between $4,000 and $9,000, depending on how far away their pipes were from the main line.

With the new system, homeowners are charged $2,766. That price includes the grinder pump and installation.

"So much less disruption at a much lower cost," Considine said.

He added the pumps are necessary because currently tons of raw sewage are dumped into Indiana water ways every year from failing septic tanks.

Currently, there are about 17,000 homes still on septic tanks in Indianapolis. Citizen Energy Group is working to reduce that number by at least 800 every year.