Need advice for crawlspace water issues

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Old 01-02-19, 06:25 PM
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Lightbulb Need advice for crawlspace water issues

Reposted to get rid of unnecessary info and shorten it, because the last post was ridiculously long.

Small 2 bedroom 1 bath house built in 1950. Raised rubblestone foundation that sits above the ground, so no underground foundation. It has a dirt crawlspace. My parents bought this house in 1979, not knowing much about houses. The crawlspace wasn't checked. My mother has been a widow since the early 90's. It had this water problem when they bought it and nobody has known what exactly to do about it. I have asked various contractors and all of them had no idea how to address it. The house is in a residential neighborhood in Decatur, Georgia and most of the way up a street with a hill, so the house is about 900 feet above sea level.

5-6 feet inside of the crawlspace door, there is a dug-out area of the crawlspace where you can step down into it and stand up. It is a rectangular area approximately 4 feet deep (more in some areas), about 12 feet long and 3.5 to 4 feet wide. This is presumed to have been dug out by the former owners who had the water heater in the kitchen and the FHA told them it had to get out of there before they could sell the house. They used cinderblocks and mortar all the way around to build a retaining wall of sorts about 3 feet tall inside of said rectangular hole that they dug. Before building this wall, it looks like a thick concrete slab maybe 4-5 inches thick was poured (I can see it on the back side of the pumps) and the wall basically sits on the outer perimeter of this slab. I presume this is why the wall has not sunk into the dirt over decades. At the "lower" end they punched a hole in the middle of the concrete slab and basically dug into the dirt to make a makeshift "open" sump pit. They put a pedestal pump in the open hole and attached the pump to a board nailed to one of the floor joists above. The water heater was placed at the "upper" end of the rectangular area. Each one has resided there since over decades. Yes, the water heater swims in like an inch of water and sits directly on the dirt. Obviously not good. It is probably 8-10 years old.

In the back right corner on the crawlspace dirt side of the wall, there is a random baseball-sized hole in the crawlspace dirt near the base of the wall. That's about 4-5 feet below outside ground level. At certain unpredictable times of the year, when it rains a certain amount, water flows out of that hole. I suspect that it builds up all the way around the wall and comes out wherever it can, appearing to come from everywhere behind the wall. Not sure if they dug into an underground spring/stream/creek or what that is. It only happens when it rains a lot and then activates, sometimes for days. It has odd seasons. In winter, it can rain like an inch and water will come out of the hole and trigger the pumps. In another part of the year, it can rain 3-4 inches and that entire rectangular area will stay dry. In the above flood video, that was a 30-minute thunderstorm that dropped about 2 inches of rain. Water absolutely gushed out of that hole. I have looked all around the outside of the house, checked for old pipes in the ground, any old perimeter drain, etc. Nothing found. I found an old concrete block septic tank and filled it, thinking it was filling up with water and finding its way into the crawlspace. Negative. The dirt on the floor of the rectangular area always seems to be moist, but the actual crawlspace dirt on top is always dry. There is no water running under the foundation onto the top of the crawlspace dirt. This is all coming from underground.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgBh...ature=youtu.be\

That was with about 3-4 inches of rain over a couple of days and the smaller pump came on and pumped out about 70 gallons at a time out every 20-30 minutes for about 2 days. As time progresses, it pumps less and less. The water is going out into the back yard about 25-30 feet from the house. No reason to believe it is coming back.

That area behind the wall where the hole is...it looks like the dirt washed out there. I see various types of what some people have told me looks like walnut shells, among other things. I presume those flowed out of the hole. I probed that hole with an endoscope that transferred and recorded video via wifi to my cell phone and captured these images from it. It went back like a foot or two and the camera smashed into the mud and lost visibility. It is possible that it curves.

So here's a video of the unknown water hole putting out said water:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPYm...ature=youtu.be

Pardon the shaky video and odd camera angle. I was weaving my arms through pipes above the water heater to get a view behind the wall while sliding in an inch of cold, muddy water going into my shoes.

I'm definitely not digging 6-7 feet all the way around the house and installing some odd underground drains. I'm not even sure that they would work very well. I would like to just concrete around the bottom and sides of the existing makeshift sump hole that they have with thick concrete, to stabilize it. Then throw the basin in there (18" x 22" - 22 gallon capacity) with holes drilled in it and wrapped in some type of fabric to keep debris out. Then just bury the sump basin level with some type of gravel or rocks. The basin could be weighted down with some type of brick(s) that span the approximate inside area of it. I would also spread a layer of inches of rocks/gravel across the rest of the rectangular area to have something to walk on without walking in the mud. The idea is the water would flow underneath and it won't be muddy, but also it allows me to put in submersible pumps into a basin. No, it won't be waterproof or any of that. It is simply to keep up with the water and get it back out. I'm not seeing an easy or inexpensive way to solve this. Paying someone to put in some type of underground drain all the way around the house would probably cost half of what the house will sell for (neighborhood has gone downhill over the years and property values dropped). She'll eventually sell the house as-is for a reasonable amount and someone else will have to figure it out.

A few photos...














Also, what are your thoughts of what this hole is supplied by? Spring? Underground stream? I have looked at all sorts of geological maps and can't find anything water-related in this exact area. There is a creek down the street thousands of feet, for instance. It doesn't flow anywhere near our yard.
 
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Old 01-02-19, 06:43 PM
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I didnt read the whole thing. Too long...I cant see vids... I see pics..

You would need to dig a tile system around house and then off to a pit with pump. Then pump water away..


It will be expensive..

Thats just my experience.. I have done several...

There may be areas in your posts that can be improved to get water away and variables I did not read in your long post...

https://basc.pnnl.gov/resource-guide...ktabs-guides=0
 
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Old 01-02-19, 07:31 PM
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House doesn't have a footing and isn't on a slab.
 
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Old 01-02-19, 07:34 PM
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You still have to get water away. Regardless of what you have , you must divert water somehow.
 
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Old 01-03-19, 07:27 AM
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Geez, I'd hate to see what you thought was too long.

Sorry, I'm just not going to read something like that and I know I'm not alone. Generally speaking, if you have any kind of water infiltration problem, the first steps are to keep the water away from the house and foundation with gutters, downspout extensions and grading.
 
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