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Old 11-26-2017, 09:48 PM   #1
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Sump pump pit water tested positive for Coliform Bacteria


Purchased a house in June ‘17 that was built in ‘89. All drain lines are schedule 40 pvc. There is a cast iron sleeve going through the basement foundation wall then transitions back to pvc about 3-4’ out.

There is an inconsistent surfer odor coming from the sump pump pit (this has been going on since we closed in June ‘17). The pit itself only has 1 inlet tied to the drain tile.

When it rains hard or consistent for many hours the water will come in from the drain tile inlet into the pit. When there is little to no rain, in some cases no rain for 13 days, water will still enter the pit from the ground through the perforated walls in the pit.

Had the main sewer line out cameraed by my city sewer and water division, they indicated the line is intact. I watched the video, the camera did not jump or jam at any point which would indicate a break.

Looking for some help. The 3 reputable plumbing companies that came to cast an opinion were stumped.

Attaching a few pics. Compare the 2 pics one you will see grey murky water. The other you see clear water. The water test result was from today, where you see positive for chlorine. I have the chloroform bacteria test (not pictured) confirming presence.

Last edited by Jbasich; 11-26-2017 at 09:54 PM. Reason: Adding a few pictures and adding a comment
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Old 11-26-2017, 09:58 PM   #2
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Re: Sump pump pit water tested positive for Coliform Bacteria


Attaching pictures for reference.

Also, just had this sump pit installed in August
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Sump pump pit water tested positive for Coliform Bacteria-2807904e-8d3d-467d-a81c-3648194ca077.jpg   Sump pump pit water tested positive for Coliform Bacteria-9d0da596-966b-4fe4-a57d-bfb0722beb7d.jpg   Sump pump pit water tested positive for Coliform Bacteria-5440d542-a2d5-44b9-9209-b69d8a30a990.jpg  
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Old 11-27-2017, 08:34 AM   #3
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Re: Sump pump pit water tested positive for Coliform Bacteria


Coliform is pretty common in ground water and since you're not drinking it you shouldn't have a problem with it. Maybe you have stagnate water in the pit. I would unplug the pump and put a mild solution of bleach and water in the pit and let it sit for a while, them pump it out and clean the pit. You could also put a pit cover over it if necessary. Just a thought.
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Old 11-27-2017, 04:06 PM   #4
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Re: Sump pump pit water tested positive for Coliform Bacteria


Since it is not a source of potable water I would not worry about any readings coming from a perimeter drainage system. The fact that it still draws water during dry spells could simply be a result of ground hydrology, which could also explain other readings and odours.

BTW, I do not see elevated chlorine on the test card. The colour seems to reflect 0.5 ppm.

Ps - What does an "occasional surfer" smell like?
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Old 11-28-2017, 02:30 PM   #5
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Re: Sump pump pit water tested positive for Coliform Bacteria


"...'occasional surfer' smell" likely 'sulfur smell'
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Old 11-28-2017, 06:13 PM   #6
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Re: Sump pump pit water tested positive for Coliform Bacteria


You could be reading the dog poop in the yard.
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