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Old 07-12-2009, 03:50 PM   #1
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Water table


Dear DYI Forum,

I have a question about basement water issues.

When I built my 2 story colonial 17 years ago, I decided not to have gutters.

Since then, I've noticed the water table under my basement never dries up here in New England during the Summer months.

If I'm not careful when we get lots of rain, the water will come up thru the floor. I've been simply uncapping my public sewer waste pipe to prevent this problem.

Since I've decided to begin working on the water issue I have 2 quetions.

1. Will getting the water away from the foundation using mesh covered vinyl piping close to the foundation leading to dry well 25 feet away from the house?

2. SInce my home is on a hilly street is there a way to know if (I do have a level lot), if the hill is causing the high water table? And is there a way to stop the water from building up?

Thanks,
Jak, Massachusetts

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Old 07-12-2009, 04:33 PM   #2
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Water table


You do not have a water table problem. You have a surface water problem. I know that because you say that the problem is related to rain, and worst in the summer.

Moving the water away from your basement should help.

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Old 07-12-2009, 07:24 PM   #3
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Water table


I am not sure I understand what you mean by uncapping the public sewer line. Are you running groundwater that accumulates in your basement into the public sewer? If so, you had best not tell the local building inspector, it is almost certainly not allowed, since the sewer department does not want to pay for your groundwater.
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:55 PM   #4
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Water table


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
I am not sure I understand what you mean by uncapping the public sewer line. Are you running groundwater that accumulates in your basement into the public sewer? If so, you had best not tell the local building inspector, it is almost certainly not allowed, since the sewer department does not want to pay for your groundwater.
That's a big no-no around here as well. I have to go back and look, but I remember a gentleman in my county that got busted for trying to dewater his basement with a sump pump, and he had it discharging to the city sewer line. The sewage authority actually sent crews into the street to find out whose house it was. He didn't realize it, but he was dewatering the entire neighborhood and sending the water into the sewer.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:18 AM   #5
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Water table


Is not having gutters worth the expense of installing a drain system all around your footings, when gutters will more than likely solve the problem?
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:47 AM   #6
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Water table


I'm no expert, but I would start with gutters, and grading. Make sure the grading around the perimeter of the house is good, (sloping away for the first 10' at least) and pipe the gutters away from the foundation. That may be enough to cure the problem. During a decent rain storm, an amazing amount of water flows off your roof.

On the flip side, if your area does have a high water table which makes it to your floor level during "wet" time of year or after heavy rain fall, you may need to take additional steps. In that case I would start by just installing a perforated sump pit and pump. Even without an attached permiter drain around your foundation, the pit may be enough especially if you have a decent layer of gravel under the basement floor. If/when the water table rises, it should travel laterally through the gravel to the pit where it can be pumped out (preferrably to storm sewer but at least a fair distance from house) before reaching floor level.

In my area (Northern NJ), most houses with basements have gutters. I bet if I didn't have them I'd be dealing with basement flooding myself. I would definitely start there.

Also, talk to your neighbors and see how their basements are during these condistions when you get water. See what systems, if any, they have in place.

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