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Old 05-12-2013, 01:25 PM   #1
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French drain share a sewage ejector?


Does french need it's own sump or other approved drainage system or can it be tied into a sewage ejector in the basement that is used for bath/washer?

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Old 05-12-2013, 01:39 PM   #2
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French drain share a sewage ejector?


NO. EPA does not allow storm water to the sewage treatment plant. If your on a septic you do not want the storm to your septic field it can be very costly to replace the field once you saturate it.

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Old 05-12-2013, 01:57 PM   #3
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NO. EPA does not allow storm water to the sewage treatment plant. If your on a septic you do not want the storm to your septic field it can be very costly to replace the field once you saturate it.
Thanks. My window wells on a house I'm buying, seem to NOT have drains. It was built in 1993 and in AZ. Not like we get alot of rain here. Maybe the drains are covered? Regardless, there's only a sewage ejector in the basement and I'm wondering if there are drains in the wells that are covered, where would they go?

The house isn't on a hill and the drains would be a solid 10' in the ground. Can a drain discharge to a deep rock pit?
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:06 PM   #4
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French drain share a sewage ejector?


sewage water and waste are always seperate from storm water and or surface water....period..no discussion....ben sr
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:11 PM   #5
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French drain share a sewage ejector?


If your not seeing drains in the window well perhaps they do not have any?
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:24 PM   #6
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If your not seeing drains in the window well perhaps they do not have any?
It's full of dirt and debris and haven't dug around yet to inspect. The inspector said there weren't any drains, but he's not allowed to dig or alter the property. Find it hard to believe there are no drains when the basement was built solid.

The well have full metal covers on them. The inspector said if the metal covers are in place, then there's no need for drains - obviously. But I still find it hard to think they are not there.

If they aren't there, I'm brainstorming ideas to put them in. Again, in AZ we get maybe 3 inches of rain a year. But during a downpour, I could see the wells filling up unless they're covered or drained.

I need to know if I could just trench a drain away from the basement and into a rock pit. That would be easiest. Can't find any info on that under IRC.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:06 PM   #7
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It's full of dirt and debris and haven't dug around yet to inspect. The inspector said there weren't any drains, but he's not allowed to dig or alter the property. Find it hard to believe there are no drains when the basement was built solid.

The well have full metal covers on them. The inspector said if the metal covers are in place, then there's no need for drains - obviously. But I still find it hard to think they are not there.

If they aren't there, I'm brainstorming ideas to put them in. Again, in AZ we get maybe 3 inches of rain a year. But during a downpour, I could see the wells filling up unless they're covered or drained.

I need to know if I could just trench a drain away from the basement and into a rock pit. That would be easiest. Can't find any info on that under IRC.

If you had slope... there is the concept of a "dry well" or "dry sink".

It is nothing more than a hole that has been filled with semi-permeable fill like pebbles/gravel/sand that allow excess surface water to migrate out from it into your adjoining land... sorta of a limited leachfield.

Your french drain would just flow into it.

Some builders (don't know your area) use a similar concept by backfilling your window wells with sand/gravel.... just no french drain.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:08 PM   #8
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French drain share a sewage ejector?


You may not put sump pump water into any place where sewage is intended to go, and you may not put sewage into any place where storm water is intended to go.

So the French drain / sump pump output may never be commingled with the sewage ejector output.

While dry wells and pits have been used to receive sump pump water, the French drain must lead to some place that will never fill up and back up. Otherwise the French drain will stop performing the function it was intended to perform.

If the soil under the house is porous enough (such as being quite sandy) and the water table is low enough then storn water will seep into the ground fast enough so as not to flood the basement even without a French drain.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:30 PM   #9
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While dry wells and pits have been used to receive sump pump water, the French drain must lead to some place that will never fill up and back up. Otherwise the French drain will stop performing the function it was intended to perform.
Allan...... Of course ideally you would want that and that would be the preferential application, but where the ground does not have a high saturation and decent permeability, the "dry well" serves to alleviate and distribute temporary excess water away from the foundation.

Think of it as a minor/small leach field.... which incidentally will fill up and stop performing it's function (after many years).... but leach fields are still applicable and usefull in many situations.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:38 PM   #10
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Allan...... Of course ideally you would want that and that would be the preferential application, but where the ground does not have a high saturation and decent permeability, the "dry well" serves to alleviate and distribute temporary excess water away from the foundation.

Think of it as a minor/small leach field.... which incidentally will fill up and stop performing it's function (after many years).... but leach fields are still applicable and usefull in many situations.
The dry well makes perfect sense in this application. Especially in arid Arizona. I will need to check with the county code first, but that's how I'm leaning.

Once problem I see is installing it.

Since the bottom of the window well is 9 feet, I would need to trench 10 feet. That's pretty darn deep for a 12" wide trench....
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:20 AM   #11
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French drain share a sewage ejector?


The significance of drains for window wells is not the depth of the window wells but rather that the window wells are open space that can hold large amounts of water that can take its leisure seeping through the wall, or down and up onto your basement floor. More important than covering the window wells (they make transparent covers too) is making sure that water does not pool up against the foundation and then get into the window well (or pool up against the foundation anywhere).

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Allan...... Of course ideally you would want that and that would be the preferential application, but where the ground does not have a high saturation and decent permeability, the "dry well" serves to alleviate and distribute temporary excess water away from the foundation.

Think of it as a minor/small leach field.... which incidentally will fill up and stop performing it's function (after many years).... but leach fields are still applicable and usefull in many situations.
The storm that causes the dry well to fill up and overflow could well come next month, or next week. You would not know that the dry well overflowed until your basement flooded.

Would you get another sump pump and put it in the remote dry well and it only comes on to send any overflow, say, out to the street?
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:03 AM   #12
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French drain share a sewage ejector?


If it was built in 93 then you might be able to get the plans for it from the county permitting office. Those would likely show the drain system. That and ask some neighbors that have the same house plan (it it's in a development of many of the same styles).
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:03 AM   #13
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The significance of drains for window wells is not the depth of the window wells but rather that the window wells are open space that can hold large amounts of water that can take its leisure seeping through the wall, or down and up onto your basement floor. More important than covering the window wells (they make transparent covers too) is making sure that water does not pool up against the foundation and then get into the window well (or pool up against the foundation anywhere).


The storm that causes the dry well to fill up and overflow could well come next month, or next week. You would not know that the dry well overflowed until your basement flooded.

Would you get another sump pump and put it in the remote dry well and it only comes on to send any overflow, say, out to the street?
I've considered the transparent well coverings and have am keeping that on the back burner. This is AZ and anything plastic like a window cover would be literally brittle, cracked, faded and possibly disintegrated in 3 seasons of summer. The sun and heat are too brutal on plastic out here.

My only other option would be to use those expensive vinyl window coverings which I might do.

I agree with your thoughts on the dry well and could see it someday overflowing back into the window well, but since this is arid AZ, I think the option is smart. Granted in the monsoon season, we have huge downpour that could fill up the dry well, but the rains don't last long. We get at max 3" a year. I don't think that would fill up the dry well. I guess it depends on how deep your dry well is too.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:06 AM   #14
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If it was built in 93 then you might be able to get the plans for it from the county permitting office. Those would likely show the drain system. That and ask some neighbors that have the same house plan (it it's in a development of many of the same styles).
Yes sir....I'm working on that angle. The building permits have since been purged. They told me after 3 years ALL permits are purged! Unreal.

I found the original owner on my 1993 septic permit form. He has since relocated to Flagstaff, AZ and now apparently operates a building business. I will reach out to him today. I'm hoping that since he's a custom builder now, he built this home the right was WITH a drainage system!
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:25 AM   #15
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This is AZ and anything plastic like a window cover would be literally brittle, cracked, faded and possibly disintegrated in 3 seasons of summer. The sun and heat are too brutal on plastic out here.
So, just consider them consumables; as part of your regular maintenance schedule. Factor the costs over time and the efforts to install and it might work out better to use the simpler stuff.

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