Wet sand around basement plumbing?

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  #1  
Old 09-12-13, 07:37 PM
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Wet sand around basement plumbing?

Hi all,
I'm new to the forums and hoping I can get some help. I moved into my first house this spring and have noticed that in the mostly finished basement, there is a section where the plumbing runs out of the shower there's an open section with nothing but sand. Everything else is a concrete floor and most of it is finished. The bathroom shares a wall with the laundry room, which is the one unfinished section.

Whenever there's a heavy rain (or snow melt), I've noticed that the sand in that area gets saturated and stays that way until it dries up enough outside for it to evaporate. During a really bad stretch this fall, there was standing water in the recession immediately surrounding the pipe. Based on some recent rain, it's currently wet. I have a photo to help illustrate the issue.

My questions are these:
- Is it normal to have exposed sand like this?
- Should I have the hole filled in with concrete (wrapping the PVC in foam first)?
- Could the extended presence of saturated sand in this small opening be cause for alarm with excessive moisture in the basement if left alone?

Thanks in advance for your help!Name:  photo (2).jpg
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Old 09-12-13, 08:04 PM
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What do you see on the outside wall? Are there cracks in the foundation, bad pitch or bad gutters? Is there cement or dirt?
 
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Old 09-12-13, 08:12 PM
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On that side of the house is nothing but grass. I had some water issues in another corner of the basement this spring and had the foundation professionally regraded and added downspout extensions on all gutters. Of the foundation that's visible, there are no cracks.

The reason there's water this time is because my girlfriend forgot to shut off the hose after watering the garden this morning, the hose sprung a leak, and was spraying water near that side of the house (but not right over that area) for essentially the entire day. Although I'm obviously not happy that it happened, I'm concerned it's going to be an issue any time there's a rain of any significance... and especially when the snow melts each spring. I'd love to just cover up the water but am not convinced it wouldn't necessarily find another way back in at some point.
 
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Old 09-13-13, 06:30 AM
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What about the pitch? The slope has to go away from the house & towards the street or the next house. Also, the cracks can be hair line cracks. Look closely.
 
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Old 09-13-13, 08:10 AM
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I feel pretty good about the pitch. The back yard slopes back to the alley and was built up in the regrading to a sufficient grade. I suppose there could be hairline cracks and I'll see what I can find.

I guess my bigger question is whether the current configuration is normal and/or acceptable. It seems weird to me that there would be exposed sand surrounded by the poured concrete flooring for the rest of the basement. I've always assumed this section should have been covered with concrete as well but have absolutely technical expertise to back up that assumption.
 
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Old 09-13-13, 03:47 PM
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The only time I've seen opened floors like that is in houses close to canals, where there is a high water table. Otherwise the floor should be complete. Maybe someone else has a different opinion but that's the extent of my knowledge.
 
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