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Old 07-16-2015, 06:00 PM   #1
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Recent flood-water was gushing through crawl-space foundation where sewage pipe exits


We had a 100 year storm here in Calgary last week. We got 8" in 2 hrs. The street drains were not able to keep up. Power also went out so the city pump houses were not working. Within no time the street in front of my house was 15" deep, and 12" along my front yard and driveway. It was like a 1' river flowing around my house for a few hours. Fortunately my 'basement' is above ground, and I only have a 5' crawl space below ground. Also fortunate that the foundation is about 15" above ground level all around the house, and that the water never made it over that or to my door, so the main living areas never got wet.

However, I had about 2' of water in the crawl space. This was from 2 sources. First the storm knocked out power so my sump pump was dead, so water was coming up from my drainage sump. However even worse was the massive amount of water gushing out from my foundation where the sewage pipe exits from within the crawl space. I took some pictures (see below - sorry they are sideways) - you will see that there is a wooden box built around the concrete opening with a metal sheet at the back with a circular hole cut-out to fit the sewage pipe that exits from my house. You'll also see some electrical wire coming out (which leads to a electrical plug)

BTW - I was also fortunate cause it was just water in my crawl space - many neighbours got sewage (very obvious with both smell, color, and floaties). I had/have no smell and the water gushing in through the crack was clean/fresh (ie. ground water).

My questions:

1) is this wooden box built around the exiting sewage pipe normal? And if so why did I have major water coming in through this? Perhaps it is normal, and just due to the massive amount of ground water around my house and the pressure, that maybe the water just found a way through???

2) if the box is normal and the issue was just too much water around my house, is there anything I can do to 'water-proof' this wooden box? I am thinking of filling the box with concrete or that expanding foam? Your thoughts?

3) What is the electrical plug that comes out from this wooden box? Being that we have cold winters I believe it may be heat trace which I can plug in during winter??? Your thoughts??? Does sewage and grey water piping normally get heat tracing in cold climates?? BTW - I have never plugged it in over the 5 years owning the house, so if it is heat trace hopefully I didn't do any damage??

4) One or 2 of the pictures also shows my crawl space setup. You will see that the ground is mud and that I have various concrete pilings in the middle of the house and then concrete foundations around the edges. All wood and electrical starts at top of the pilings (about 5' from the crawl space ground), and fortunately the water only made it 2' high. So no wood got wet, nor did any electrical wiring or anything. My question is whether this water could though have caused some damage to the pilings or foundation in any way? I personally think it is OK being that the house is on a lakefront lot with a high water table - I'd think the engineers designed the crawl space to take on water occassionally?


Any advice would be appreciated.
















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Old 07-16-2015, 06:07 PM   #2
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Recent flood-water was gushing through crawl-space foundation where sewage pipe exits


You can keep the sewage from backing up into the house if you install a backflow device on the waste pipe exiting the house.

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Old 07-16-2015, 06:20 PM   #3
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Recent flood-water was gushing through crawl-space foundation where sewage pipe exits


Maybe I didn't explain my situation well. I had no sewage back up. I actually don't even have a formal sewage drain in the ground. My pipe exits horizontally through the concrete retaining wall. There is a wooden box built around this pipe exiting. It was ground water leaking through this wooden box. I'm trying to understand is this is 'normal', regarding building a wooden box through concrete foundation? And what my options are to make it water tight.

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Old 07-17-2015, 11:38 AM   #4
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Recent flood-water was gushing through crawl-space foundation where sewage pipe exits


The box is just a form that was there for the concrete pour. The wire is not known unless you can follow it to see what it is feeding. If you do fill the hole with concrete protect the pipe with something. I do not think expanding foam will do much for you. you could make a wooden cover using the existing wooden frame in the hole
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Old 07-17-2015, 03:13 PM   #5
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Recent flood-water was gushing through crawl-space foundation where sewage pipe exits


Quote:
Originally Posted by ct18 View Post
The box is just a form that was there for the concrete pour. The wire is not known unless you can follow it to see what it is feeding. If you do fill the hole with concrete protect the pipe with something. I do not think expanding foam will do much for you. you could make a wooden cover using the existing wooden frame in the hole
Thanks. So the box was there when the foundation was poured specifically for the sewer pipe exit. So my question - was this box supposed to be sealed or concrete filled after the sewer was installed?

Sounds like pouring hydraulic concrete in the box is a good idea. Why do I need to protect the piping? I was just planning to build a temp cover and pour concrete through-out inside, inlcuding all around the piping. What would the issue be if I get the concrete over top of the piping?

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Old 07-20-2015, 02:25 PM   #6
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Recent flood-water was gushing through crawl-space foundation where sewage pipe exits


I would protect it to prevent any chance of concrete wearing through from vibration or shifting.

It looks like it was boxed out to accommodate the wye fitting.

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