Water Pumped From Basement Freezing In Street


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Old 12-30-09, 01:27 PM
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Water Pumped From Basement Freezing In Street

I'm not sure if I'm posting this to the right place but...

We waterproofed our basement a few years ago by installing an indoor french drain and sump pump to pump water from the basement to the street in front of the house. When the weather is warm the water flows down the street to the sewer a few houses down. But during the winter the water freezes before reaching the sewer resulting in a large ice patch that grows each time more water is pumped out. Is there something I can do to prevent the freezing? Perhaps something I can add to the water in the sump pump well that will not damage the pump?

Thanks
 
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Old 12-30-09, 01:31 PM
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If you are causing an ice patch on the street, you really need to understand your liability in such a situation. If a person is injured because of the ice, you may find yourself facing a nice big lawsuit.


You really need to check with your municipality to determine if what you are doing is even legal. It may not be.

and to adding anything to the water; highly doubtful there would be anything legal that you could add to the water regardless of what it will or won't do to the pump.
 
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Old 12-30-09, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by nap
If you are causing an ice patch on the street, you really need to understand your liability in such a situation. If a person is injured because of the ice, you may find yourself facing a nice big lawsuit.


You really need to check with your municipality to determine if what you are doing is even legal. It may not be.

and to adding anything to the water; highly doubtful there would be anything legal that you could add to the water regardless of what it will or won't do to the pump.
We just rebuilt the french drain system that the previous owner had installed but had deteriorated over the course of many years so there is nothing illegal about the system itself. However the liability issue is what concerns me. I'm looking for any idea to help minimize the problem. I'm currently out there a couple of days a week removing ice manually and that's wearing me down.
 
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Old 12-30-09, 02:22 PM
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Well since you have a pump you could discharge into a few sprinklers on your property. That would spread the water around and keep it off the street.
 
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Old 12-30-09, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047
Well since you have a pump you could discharge into a few sprinklers on your property. That would spread the water around and keep it off the street.

Actually that will just spread the water around to ice over several areas. I guess I'm looking for a solution that will slow down the freezing process so the water can get to the sewer before icing.
 
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Old 12-30-09, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by golddave
We just rebuilt the french drain system that the previous owner had installed but had deteriorated over the course of many years so there is nothing illegal about the system itself. However the liability issue is what concerns me. I'm looking for any idea to help minimize the problem. I'm currently out there a couple of days a week removing ice manually and that's wearing me down.
it's not the french drain that I was speaking of; it is the running the water into the street. Obviously in the winter it could be a huge problem due to the liability but whether running the water into the storm drain is legal at all is what I was speaking of.

a lot of places have a problem with run off in the summer even due to fertilizer contamination that should not be allowed to go either to a waster water treatment plant nor any body of water.

I am willing to bet there is absolutely nothing you can add to the water that is legal that will remedy your problem. Even just plain salt would not be allowed.

chemicals? start looking for a lawyer to defend you in an environmental contamination suit...seriously.
 
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Old 12-30-09, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by nap
it's not the french drain that I was speaking of; it is the running the water into the street. Obviously in the winter it could be a huge problem due to the liability but whether running the water into the storm drain is legal at all is what I was speaking of.

a lot of places have a problem with run off in the summer even due to fertilizer contamination that should not be allowed to go either to a waster water treatment plant nor any body of water.

I am willing to bet there is absolutely nothing you can add to the water that is legal that will remedy your problem. Even just plain salt would not be allowed.

chemicals? start looking for a lawyer to defend you in an environmental contamination suit...seriously.
The running water into the street is legal. The only issue is liability. Besides, I'm not here looking for legal advice.

I know I can't put salt or anti-freeze in there. I know most chemicals are no good either. I'm asking for any thoughts people may have that may help me. Whether it's some kind of natural (and legal) additive I can put in the well or anything else I can do.
 
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Old 12-30-09, 04:24 PM
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Probably no legal, proper or "green" materials that can be added.

Water will freeze, especially on a cold surface.

The water (relatively clean) came from the ground and you should find a way to get it absorbed/distributed as far as far away from your home. Keep chipping or using a proper ice melter a few hours before chipping and shoveling to make everything easier.

You have a surface drainage problem and should not tie it into your sewer unless you have on old combined sewer system (sanitary and storm) and it is allowed.

Dick
 
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Old 12-30-09, 04:53 PM
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I would get a longer hose. Unfortunately, it would probably go through a few people's driveways. But isn't there an alternative location other than the street? Backyard maybe, someplace downhill where it could go?

I dug a large cistern-like pit for my folks years ago, cement block sides, filled it up with gravel, cover it with hay in the winter to keep it warm. It is deep enough that heat from the ground keeps it warm too. Water goes in and it drains away. Kind of like a mini drain field. All their pipe is underground so it won't freeze.
 
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Old 12-30-09, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper
I would get a longer hose. Unfortunately, it would probably go through a few people's driveways. But isn't there an alternative location other than the street? Backyard maybe, someplace downhill where it could go?

I dug a large cistern-like pit for my folks years ago, cement block sides, filled it up with gravel, cover it with hay in the winter to keep it warm. It is deep enough that heat from the ground keeps it warm too. Water goes in and it drains away. Kind of like a mini drain field. All their pipe is underground so it won't freeze.
The setup is what it is and I can't be building cisterns or rerouting the flow. The pump pushes the water out of the house to a pipe that runs underground (so the water doesn't freeze in it) and opens to the street. It is not the kind of pipe I can add a hose to but even if I could on the cold days the water would freeze in the hose before it gets to the sewer 2 houses down and cause a backup into the house. That's why I was trying to think of things I could add to the water that may lower it's freezing point and give it a chance to get to the sewer which is two houses down. If there is no such additive that is environmentally safe and legal then I'm out of luck and will continue to do what I've been doing (salting and chopping most every day to keep the sheet of ice to a minimum).
 
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Old 12-30-09, 05:34 PM
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that would be what is commonly termed a drywell around my area. I have built them using pre-cast comcrete barrels with holes cast into the sides or by using CMU (concrete blocks) and obviously a very stout piece of material to use as a lid.

You would want to surround whatever you used with gravel, just as you would a leach field.


The running water into the street is legal. The only issue is liability. Besides, I'm not here looking for legal advice.
I know I can't put salt or anti-freeze in there. I know most chemicals are no good either. I'm asking for any thoughts people may have that may help me. Whether it's some kind of natural (and legal) additive I can put in the well or anything else I can do.
fine. for additives; there is most likely nothing you could add to the water that would help you.

as to what to do with it? Since it is winter, that is tough but the drywell would most likely be your best alternative. If you do install such, you will want to be aware of any water wells near by (if you do not have municipal water) since similar laws would pertain to a drywell as they would a leach field even if it is not even grey water.

Other than that;

ever consider a skating rink?
 
 

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