Sewage from WCP is directed to a sump which must be actively pumped to leave the property. There are two pumps, a primary and a backup, both of which run on electrical power from Southern California Edison. If residents are not conscientious during a power outage, the sump may overflow. When it overflows it shows up as water coming out the sewer manhole in the middle of the perimeter road on the north end of the complex, and flows into the storm drain system, which flows directly to the ocean.
According to Gary Fuller (the plumber who has serviced our sump and pumps over the years), our sump can hold approximately 3000 gallons of sewage. This means that, if the pump stops working, each household can send only ~45 gallons of water down its drains before the sump overflows. A typical toilet flush sends ~ 2 gallons of water down the drain. A typical dishwasher sends ~ 6 gallons of water down the drain. A typical clothes washing machine sends ~ 30 gallons of water down the drain. A typical shower sends ~ 2 gallons of water per minute down the drain. Therefore, during an extended power outage, WCP residents should avoid water intensive activities like washing clothes or dishes or taking showers, and limit themselves to < 20 toilet flushes, in order to prevent the sump from overflowing.