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I live in a Ranch home built by Pace I believe in the 1960's. Under my family room there is hollow room like space with something that looks like it could be sand or dirt in it, lined with plastic top and bottom. I can see into it because there was a hole with a door covering it built into the wall when the house was built. When ever it rains a lot we have to pump the water out of the hole or else it will over flow and flood into the rest of the basement.

What is this type of "water room" for?

Can it be dangerous to my health?
 

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It sounds like a crawl space under a house addition.
Photos will help.
Have to addressed the water issue in any way?
Checked the grading next to the house?
Extended the downspouts away from the house?
Cleaned the gutters?
Take some photos of the exterior around this room.
 
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