Underground leak; need ideas on tracking down the source


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Old 04-17-16, 06:55 PM
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Underground leak; need ideas on tracking down the source

Hello,

I was digging in my back yard prepping an area where we're going to lay down sod. While I was digging in one area, I noticed some mud several inches below the grade. As I cleared more dirt away from the area, I could see a slow, but steady, drip coming off a large root that had been cut (probably when I was clearing the area a couple of years ago).
One of my suspicions is that the PVC drain from the gutter was punctured or separated at a seam.
I think that the PVC drain passes a few feet away from the leak that I'm seeing, but I have not been able to expose all of the drain to confirm it. There are so many roots over the drain that exposing all the PVC is quite difficult. I've already cut away tons of roots to prepare for the sod, but I'm reluctant to cut any more of the large roots away for fear of damaging the tree.
The water supply to my house comes through the front side of the house, so I'm reasonably convinced that the water supply line has not been compromised.

Can you think of any other possible sources for the slow leak I'm seeing?
Do you have any ideas of how I can better trace the origin of the leak?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 04-17-16, 07:13 PM
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Well, what else could possibly be in the area? Do you have a septic system or city sewer? If septic do you know where the drain field is? It's not unusual for there to be a lot of water a little underground in the area of a septic drain field. Do you have lawn sprinkler system or any yard mounted water supply hydrants? Do you have a sump pump? Any water supply lines to outbuildings?

PVC drains from the gutters don't have water in them unless it's actually raining (or at least they shouldn't).

And of course, it could always be a shallow spring of some type.

Options for tracking it down will depend a lot on what *might* be there....
 
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Old 04-18-16, 06:46 AM
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Thanks @CarbideTipped.

There is a septic system, but the ends of the leach field are fairly far from where I'm seeing this pretty isolated leak (around 20 feet). The cut root where I'm seeing the leak looks just like a leaky faucet; drip, drip, drip...

For what it's worth, the gutter drain pipe takes a very curious route. It heads straight away from (perpendicular to) the back of the house for 9' then takes a 45 degree turn to the right. It's curious, because there is another downspout, to its right, from the back of the garage, around 30 feet away. I would have expected the pipes to run closer to the house and garage if they are linked. I asked, but the town did not have plans for the drainage system.

We have no installed sprinkler systems.
We have a sump pump, but that discharges to the front of the house.
No water supplies to out buildings.

I like what you said about drainage from the gutters. I agree, there "should" only be water in there if it's raining and it hasn't rained in several days. I think I'll stick a hose in the downspout and run some water; see if the drip increases (in case there is blockage downstream of the leak).

Wouldn't I see more water if the issue were an underground spring?

Thanks again.
 
 

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