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Old 12-01-2010, 09:37 AM   #1
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Sump Flow - How much is too much?


After a hard rain, my sump pit (18" dia) is accumulating water at the rate of approx 2GPM, the pump is going on every 2 minutes (1:54 to be exact).

The house is new and it is built on top of a sandy clay base. The footingings are only 12" below grade, and we brought about 100 loads of backfill around the foundation.

In our first year, we never had any water whatsoever flow into our Sump Pit, and this year (our second year), we are having a lot, especially after a rain, and until 4-5 days after, with decreasing frequency.

There is a vacant lot next to mine where water tends to accumulate (water is approx 75-100 feet from house). The water level is at most the same level as the house footings. Maybe it is a coincidence, but the sump flow seems to correspond to water pooling in that area. after a few days, the water is gone, and so is the flow into my pit.

So my questions are:
- Is this "normal"?
- Is there anything I can do?
- How can I find out if the water pool on the lot next to mine is actually causing the flow? (ie. can I use a dye in the water etc.?)

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Old 12-01-2010, 01:53 PM   #2
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Sump Flow - How much is too much?


Here are some pictures, it's been raining like crazy here over the last 24 hours. Sump Pump is now going every 1:40
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Sump Flow - How much is too much?-ottawa-20101201-00023.jpg   Sump Flow - How much is too much?-ottawa-20101201-00024.jpg  

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Old 12-01-2010, 04:03 PM   #3
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Sump Flow - How much is too much?


whether you have a very high water table or impermeable ground, you end up with a lot of water in the top couple of feet of ground. Your pump running is corresponding with the pooling is because what you see above ground next door is similar to what you are experiencing immediately below grade. You can see that in the bare spot in your yard where there is a lot of water.


Quote:
- Is this "normal"?
Normal is relative to the existing conditions and based on your pics, this is normal for your area.


Quote:
- Is there anything I can do?
not sure.

Quote:
- How can I find out if the water pool on the lot next to mine is actually causing the flow? (ie. can I use a dye in the water etc.?)
I do not believe it is the cause as much as an indicator of the situation as a whole.

Simply put; your house was built in an area with no drainage. There is just nowhere for the water to go fast enough to not cause the accumulation you are experiencing with your pump.

If your footings are only 12" below grade, where is this sump and pump? If a crawlspace, is the crawlspace fully enclosed (complete with floor)? Was there any water barrier installed prior to pouring the foundation? was is sealed at all?
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:12 PM   #4
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Sump Flow - How much is too much?


The foundation is poured concrete with Platon, 8 feet (standard in this area).

I'll try to find a way to trench the water pools out
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:58 PM   #5
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Sump Flow - How much is too much?


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Originally Posted by BimmerDOm View Post
The foundation is poured concrete with Platon, 8 feet (standard in this area).

I'll try to find a way to trench the water pools out
Consider buying a water pump for peace of mind.

http://www.amazon.com/Wayne-PC4-115-...1247898&sr=1-7

Is your house built on a flood plain?
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:53 PM   #6
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Sump Flow - How much is too much?


Bimmer -

Since your pump is going on frequently, that means that the system is functioning properly.

Building on a clay soil is always problematic since it does not permit drainage downward. A sandy clay is just clay with some sand in it, but it is still clay, which will control and absorption downward. The 100 loads of backfill to artificially create a hight first floor elevation just provides a reservoir to collect surface water.

You may have created a "perched" water table around your home the stores the surface moisture. Since the site is relatively flat and the existing road can cut off short term drainage, you could easily have a lot of water stored around you foundation.

When you pump the water out, how far away is the discharge point and is there a drainage well away to a lower area or are you just pumping the same water again after it come back through the soil?

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Old 12-01-2010, 10:02 PM   #7
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Sump Flow - How much is too much?


In a heavy rain, the 2 GPM wouldn't concern me near as much as the 2 minute cycle interval. If you're effectively only pumping about 4 gallons per cycle, something is wrong. Your crock should pump out at least 10, if not 20 gallons, every time is cycles.

As Dick mentioned, the system as a whole seems to be working fine. The objective of the entire system is to get any surface water that penetrates the soil near the wall to the footing, and ultimately into the crock, as fast as possible. The platon certainly accelerates that even more. I think the problem here is that either:

- Your crock is too small.

- The range on your pump is set way to short.

- You have no back flow preventer, so your pumping the same water many times.

- Your outside discharge isn't long enough.
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:00 PM   #8
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Sump Flow - How much is too much?


Thanks for the advice.

To answer some of the questions:

Water is being pumped out to the roadside ditch approx 100 feet away, below the footing grade.

I will look for backflow and take a picture of the crock for refrence
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:39 AM   #9
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Sump Flow - How much is too much?


I installed a backflow valve near the sump pump and added more range on the ball... a lot less on-off cycles for sure
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:53 AM   #10
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Sump Flow - How much is too much?


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I installed a backflow valve near the sump pump and added more range on the ball... a lot less on-off cycles for sure

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