SUmp Pump discharge creating a pool of water

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-26-13, 04:32 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Question SUmp Pump discharge creating a pool of water

Hi,

I just bought a new house last year, and I have been fighting with my home builder to get my sump pump draining correctly.

A little background:

House has an 8 foot basement. In the spring and summer months, the sump pump will discharge about 10-15 liters of water ever 3-5 mins. The excessive amount of water creates a pool where the water is discharged. This pool is quite close to my front steps, and right on the path from the front to the back. Adding a sump pump discharge pipe to the street would block that path, and add some ugly looks.

The builder did re-grade the area last fall and there is more of a slope. But the water still pools since there is so much water. I have considered installing an underground discharge pipe, past the alley and into a ditch, but once past the alley, it isn't my property anymore. Also, I live in Alberta, Canada and the winters get very cold, so the frost line would be quite deep.

What options do I have to fix my problem? Is there anything the builder can do? They have been pretty uncooperative so far.

Thanks
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-26-13, 07:04 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,483
Received 33 Votes on 30 Posts
Uncooperative usually means they don't know what to do either or just don't want the cost.

Hard to give an exact answer, but there are a couple of concerns I see.
One, when that water eventually soaks back into the ground, where is it going, back to the sump pump??
Two, where is the origin of your water problem? I know, the basement , but new homes are sumetimes built into a hole where the disturbed soil around the foundation drains all of the water around the house right into the same hole. Gutters and leaders that direct their water well away from the house are helpful. If none, then surface management in terms of excessive slopes to quickly drain the run off away.

If surface drainage is not possible, then you should investigate your soil makeup. If suitable and you have enough property a drainage pit can be created to direct all of that water to where it can soak down into the soil. But, if your water problem is a high water table, there will be no place for it to soak in.

What does the landscaping around your house look like?

Bud
 
  #3  
Old 05-28-13, 08:09 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I'm just waiting for the weather to clear, and this evening I will take a picture and have more details. Thanks!
 
  #4  
Old 05-29-13, 08:30 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Here are some pictures of what is happening. The sump pump discharge pipe is that little pipe that connects to that downspout that empties by my steps.

I was told that my sump pump is going a lot because I have a deeper basement (8 feet), and my weeping tiles pick up all the water around my basement. My sump pump then pumps it out. You can't see too well in the picture, but the water does pool just past the downspout. I even think the grass might be rotting, sometimes I think I can smell it, but I am unsure. I have since added that black pipe to bring the water to the street.

In my city, we previously had some bad flooding due to old infrastructure, and it is against bylaw to drain sump pumps to the storm sewer. When I spoke with my builder last, they sounded like they just want to "reshape" the grass so that it won't pool. However, I don't believe that is the answer. Since the pump goes off every 3-5 mins it will create a very wet area right where we want to be walking to go to the backyard.

Let me know what you think

Name:  Beje--2UXQaaW5a7WoN-wOWphYpiwMc_xaKW_2dWxKI.jpg
Views: 19926
Size:  50.0 KBName:  ZohWQ_3pLPhCPrqdzFllBPqYzicsAlWkgmpbWoJhjYc.jpg
Views: 38612
Size:  50.2 KB
 
  #5  
Old 05-29-13, 09:15 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,483
Received 33 Votes on 30 Posts
Soil around your house that was disturbed during construction will suck up water like a sponge and deliver it right back to the drainage system around your footings and foundation. 8' complicates the issue as doubtful there is any drain to daylight available around your property.

If you mentally remove all of the disturbed soil on your property you will discover that the builder built a pond, with your house at the bottom. Unless the original soil was capable of draining off all of the surface water on your property, or the landscaping is capable of surface draining all new water to someplace else, then you will be pumping forever. Drain tiles around the foundation do little good if they have no place to drain to.

Ask your builder where the water that is pooling next to your driveway is supposed to go?

For a solution, and I don't have all of the information, I would consider a drainage pit as far from the house as possible, down hill if that exists, and as deep as necessary to deliver the water from around your house to the subsoil.

If you talk to a well guy, or the town engineer you may be able to get an idea as to what is down there. If ledge, then it isn't going to drain well. If the soil goes deep that is where your excess water should go.

What climate are you in, nearest large city?

Bud
 
  #6  
Old 05-29-13, 11:18 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I live in a little city called Lacombe in Alberta. Its just north of Red Deer and between Calgary and Edmonton.

The builder tells me that the water should run along the grass, and seap into all the front lawn. I don't believe that will happen just by shaping the ground. Even if the ground is sloped, the grass where the water hits will rot from excessive water. My pump is going off ever 3-5 mins now.
 
  #7  
Old 05-29-13, 01:59 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,483
Received 33 Votes on 30 Posts
You are in cold country, so you can expect some frost lift that will make drainage more difficult. I have a camper out back and every spring it is funny to look out and see the camper sitting on a mound about 6" above the rest of the lawn. Once the frost goes it settles back where it belongs. But around your house, a lawn that was draining away suddenly can end up pooling back against the foundation.

Keep all of your correspondence with the builder as I can almost guarantee he has no intention of fixing this problem. The fix suggested above would be several thousand dollars, assuming the deeper soil can absorb that much water.

For septic systems they have a harmless dye they use to detect surface water coming from a septic field. In your case, if you added that dye to the pool on your lawn, would that water show up in your sump? You said you added the black hose to take the output out to the curb. Did that slow the frequency at which the pump cycled?

Anyone else following this have any suggestions?

Bud
 
  #8  
Old 05-29-13, 04:05 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Last year, I installed a 200L rain barrel, and we simply couldn't use it fast enough and would overflow within a day. We used the black hose last year as well, and along with this year, it doesn't seem to slow down how often the sump pump goes off.

I could test with the dye, but I am not sure if that would work or not. Also, both of my neighbors do not have any grass on their yards on the sides or backs of the house. I don't think it would make enough of a difference though if they did.

As for the builder, I did escalate a complaint with their new warranty program and have an inspector coming out in a few weeks to look at a few issues. I do agree that my builder does not have any intention of fixing the issue. But if the inspector deems that it has to be fixed, he is legally obligated to do so. But for some reason, I just don't have my hopes up for that as well, I believe that I will be the one fixing it in the end.
 
  #9  
Old 05-29-13, 06:19 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,483
Received 33 Votes on 30 Posts
If directing the water to the street did not change the frequency of the pump cycling that lessens the worry about recycling. And it is good, because maybe the ground out by the curb could accept a seepage tank. Here is a link that explains seepage tanks:
Seepage Tanks & Pits, What Are They and What Are They For? | LandscapeAdvisor

Bud
 
  #10  
Old 05-30-13, 08:39 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,483
Received 33 Votes on 30 Posts
Peter, more food for your discussion with your builder.
In cold country where frost can be significant you cannot rely of the ground absorbing runoff year round. Once the frost is set, all rain thereafter has to have a surface solution. And it gets worse. In the spring when the frost starts to melt, it does so from the top down yet still prevents rain from soaking in. That is why they post rural roads for "no heavy loads" every spring. What you end up with is a mud wrestling pit where the water collects with no place to go.

And I guarantee your builder is well aware of this. Right from the start he should have set the house 2' higher and landscaped it for proper drainage, but that cost money.

Bud
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: