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District 19

Alder Keith Furman

Image of Alder Keith Furman,
Council President

Alder Keith Furman,
Council President

Contact Information

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

District 19 Blog

Office Hours on Saturday and New Backwater Valve Program Provides Financial Incentive, Homeowner Protection

June 10, 2021 9:56 AM

Update on office hours: I'll be returning to the Westside Community Market this Saturday (June 12) from 7:30 - 9:30am. Since we're returning to a new normal and I'm fully vaccinated, I'm excited to be hosting my first in-person office hours since last March 2020! 

I'll also be hosting virtual office hours on 6/23. Please use the registration links below to get the Zoom link. When you register, you'll also get an e-mail reminder on the day of Office Hours. You can register in advance or the day of.

Note: I have set it up so I can only meet one person at a time. If I'm meeting with someone else, there will be a small waiting period in a meeting lobby. If you don't want to use Zoom, I will be answering calls (608-912-0000) during this time as long as I'm not speaking with someone else. 


If you have a question, concern, or topic of interest that you would like to discuss, but the times above don't work for you, you can e-mail me.

New Backwater Valve Program Provides Financial Incentive, Homeowner Protection

All eligible property owners who install a backwater valve in their home may be eligible to get reimbursed 75 percent of the installation cost up to $1,500.

City Engineering is offering a backwater valve incentive program to residents who want to protect their home from experiencing a sewer backup. A sewer backup is when sewer wastewater has no place to go but back through the pipe into a basement, or the path of least resistance, when its traditional path is blocked. If residents have a backwater valve, it can protect a basement from the wastewater flowing back into the home.

A sewer backwater valve is a valve designed to allow flow in a sewer pipe to occur in only one direction. The backwater valve allows flow out of the home through the sewer pipe but will close and block flow coming back from the sewer main pipe.

Program Eligibility

  • 1- or 2-unit residential properties
  • Homeowner does not have a backwater valve installed in their home
  • Homes are five or more years old and have had occupancy for five or more years

Sewer backwater valve benefits
Many Madison area homes are older and lack protection against backups.  Sewer backups create a public health and safety hazard and can be expensive for homeowners to cleanup. Sewer backwater valves provide additional protection for homeowners.
As infrastructure gets older, sewer and water mains become likely to fail. Failure of water mains, storm sewers, and sanitary sewers may cause increased fluid flow into the sanitary sewers and may result in backups into sewer laterals to residences.  Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent in the Madison area and may cause more frequent failures in the sewer system.  Properties in low lying areas and properties near bodies of water may be especially susceptible to backups caused by extreme weather events.  Unexpected clogging of sanitary sewer mains caused by buildup of grease, sanitary wipes, and other items in the sanitary sewer system can also results in backups. 

Maintenance required for a backwater valve
Annual maintenance of the backwater valve is recommended to make sure that it is properly functioning.  Cleaning can be performed by a plumber, a sewer lateral cleaning service or the homeowner.

Learn about the Backwater Valve Program
If you experience a sewer backup, call Engineering Operations at 608-266-4430.
Learn more about sewer backups
Everyday Engineering Podcast Episode on basement drainage


As always, if there is anything I can do to help, feel free to reach out:

-Keith F

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