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Old 05-21-2011, 06:28 PM   #1
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Basement sump question


Just went to check on our not quite finished new construction home. There is a sump and pump in it, and when I first checked, the water level in the sump was very low. Now, after three straight days of rain, I heard water running into the sump. As I investigated, I noticed a stub of black corrugated plastic pipe extending horizontally into the sump. That stub was the source of the water trickiling into the sump.

Is that pipe part of a drain tile system? Note that the builder has not yer sloped/graded the lot away from the foundation.

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Old 05-21-2011, 06:33 PM   #2
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Basement sump question


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Originally Posted by wileefox View Post
Just went to check on our not quite finished new construction home. There is a sump and pump in it, and when I first checked, the water level in the sump was very low. Now, after three straight days of rain, I heard water running into the sump. As I investigated, I noticed a stub of black corrugated plastic pipe extending horizontally into the sump. That stub was the source of the water trickiling into the sump.

Is that pipe part of a drain tile system? Note that the builder has not yer sloped/graded the lot away from the foundation.
The house probably sits on a high water table. The sump is so the basement doesn't flood during the rainy season. You should look into a battery backup, so when the power goes off the water doesn't come into the basement area.
Ron

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Old 05-21-2011, 06:47 PM   #3
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Basement sump question


Thanks, I understand the purpose of the sump, but I don't know where that incoming stub of black plastic pipe is coming from.

Like I said, it is coming into the sump from the side and I'm wonderign whether it is part of an external drain tile system.

By the way, everywhere in this part of the state has a high water table. We just came off a record setting winter during which we shattered all records in recorded history for snowfall. To compound matters, the summer of 2010 was a record setting rainfall season leaving the ground saturated all winter long, preventing the ground from absorbing any additional moisture.

But back to the sump question, where does that black pipe come from?
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:58 PM   #4
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Basement sump question


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Thanks, I understand the purpose of the sump, but I don't know where that incoming stub of black plastic pipe is coming from.

Like I said, it is coming into the sump from the side and I'm wonderign whether it is part of an external drain tile system.

By the way, everywhere in this part of the state has a high water table. We just came off a record setting winter during which we shattered all records in recorded history for snowfall. To compound matters, the summer of 2010 was a record setting rainfall season leaving the ground saturated all winter long, preventing the ground from absorbing any additional moisture.

But back to the sump question, where does that black pipe come from?
The pipe is probably running around the interior perimeter of the footings, picking up water and and running it into the sump pit.
It would make no sense(to me) to take water from the exterior, bring it inside the building to then pump it out again.
You can ask the builder about the details, can't you?
Ron

Last edited by Ron6519; 05-22-2011 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:06 PM   #5
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Basement sump question


Ah! That would make sense. A sort of interior drain tile system. We haven't had any contact with the builder yet, only their selling agent. But I'll try to ask her next week.
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:01 PM   #6
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Basement sump question


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It woold make no sense(to me) to take water from the exterior, bring it inside the building to then pump it out again.
Ron
It could be an inside perimeter tile, or an outside footing tile, or both.

That exterior water has to go somewhere, or it would very quickly become interior water.

Unless the house is on a hill allowing the footing drain tile around the exterior perimeter to be routed downhill to daylight, or downhill (hopefully very downhill) to a storm sewer, then it is very likely that it is routed to the sump pit in the basement.

In the old days footing tiles were sometimes routed to the sanitary sewer but that is rarely ever allowed and should never be done even if it is.
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Old 05-22-2011, 03:15 AM   #7
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Basement sump question


Matter of fact, I just found out that it is against code here to route them to the sanitary sewer system here. The local news just ran a story tonight that warned residents to make sure their sump pump discharge is pumping out to the storm sewers and not into the sanitary sewers.

Storm system is running at 80% capacity, sanitary system is on the verge of overflowing. All due to the high volumes of rain, high ground water tables, and flooding river.

This new const. house that we're buying is on the highest ground in town and still has a high water table. Maybe I'd better shoot for higher ground, Colorado Rockies maybe??
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:10 AM   #8
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Basement sump question


Sump pump discharge to the sanitary sewer is bad, but they used to put footing tiles directly into the sewer and that is even worse. When the sewer becomes overwhelmed with storm water there is no stopping a backup. Not only does the water around your foundation have nowhere to go when the sewer fills up, but the sewer can and will flow backwards into your basement through those drain tiles.

New houses are not done this way anymore, but occasionally some uneducated hack will try to do it out of laziness or simply being cheap, not wanting to deal with a sump and discharge line. They have no concern for the folks living at the bottom of the hill who have sewage shooting out their basement toilets and drains every time it rains. Crazy as it sounds at one time they even allowed rain gutters to discharge into the sewer.

Ii is not legal anywhere these days due to the high cost of sewage treatment; but there are millions of houses across the country that still have their tiles either directly or through sumps discharging to the sanitary sewer. Some municipalities had outdated systems that used a common pipe for storm and sanitary sewer. When the sewer was overwhelmed during heavy rains; sewage water was just discharged into lakes or rivers instead of being treated.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:07 PM   #9
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Basement sump question


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When the sewer was overwhelmed during heavy rains; sewage water was just discharged into lakes or rivers instead of being treated.
I noticed you wrote that in the past tense, but it's still the case in Milwaukee. It turns out the Deep Tunnel isn't quite deep enough............. and they dump millions of gallons of untreated into Lake Michigan during large storms. What's ironic is that quite a few of the muni's on outer rim of the sewage district separate their storm & sanitary, only so it can be combined once it gets into the city.......


To the OP, the black pipe is indeed coming from your interior draintile/footing drain, which should be tied directly to the exterior draintile via ross bleeders through the concrete footing. What you have sounds like a conventional system.

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