Basement sump pump dilemma

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Old 02-20-18, 07:35 PM
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Basement sump pump dilemma

New user here, but I'm very familiar with sump pumps. I'm not a plumber, but I am a millwright, so my skill level is advanced. I have a 8' deep poured basement with a 30" sump basin. The water table is very high. Soil is about 3' of black dirt on top of clay in my area of NW Indiana. My pump runs all year. Even in a dry summer it will kick on once every few hours. Spring it runs 15 seconds every 5 min. My discharge options are limited as the town does not have a suitable tile to tie into and the yard is flat. This house is 17 years old so nothing I can do about the design.
The basin has tile that runs under the slab (4") that collects very minimal water. The perimeter tile (4") around the footer was brought through the wall and that's where my water comes from. We've had about 6" of rain in the last day. This has happened a few times in the last 10 years (100 year flood). So my primary runs constant. My secondary in pit barely maintains. Yes 2 pumps in pit set at different levels with separate discharges. I run a gas 2" pump to discharge across the street to lower ground. Yes I'm prepared, but I'm tired of it. I'm looking for advise on installing a sump basin outside, approximately 10 feet deep. I would plug the perimeter tile from going into the house and install a vertical tile 18-36" diameter tied into the perimeter tile into. I would install a pump in it. But where to go? French drain? Right now my back yard has 2 feet of standing water, so I would just be recirculating for a few days. Any other ideas or insight if greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 
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Old 02-20-18, 07:50 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I can understand the problem but it's hard to visualize the terrain.
A few pictures of the outside area.... and where the water needs to go would be helpful.
How-to-insert-pictures

French drain..... not much help.
A deep pit is ok to capture but it must be pumped somewhere.
 
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Old 02-20-18, 08:27 PM
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I think about all you can do is pump it as far away as possible to whatever low ground you can reach. I know what you are dealing with. The area my grandfather and parents once owned was also 3' of black dirt... river bottom, but with sand below it. The water table would rise immediately after heavy rains. Pumping water out was practically pointless as a "dry" basement would simply have fountains bursting through the cracks.

The house I am currently working at renovating is located about a mile from the river... and is not on the flood plain. Still, it has 3 sump pump pits located in various ends of the basement. They currently seem to be running every 5 minutes as well. And this is winter the dryest season of the year... but there are springs that come from the higher ground that must follow a layer of clay silt.

So don't think that what you are dealing with is unusual... it's just that sometimes houses are built in areas that are too low, prone to groundwater. In many cases builders unfamiliar with an area dig a basement too deep and make the problem worse. The builder really needs to know where the water table is before he digs. Instead of digging an 8' basement, maybe it should only have been 4'... with 4' of foundation above grade. You can't fight mother nature.

Your pit / cistern / dry well may very well be a good idea. You could even run drain tile or your gutter downspouts underground to it. But you will likely need a heavier pump. I have a Wayne WLS200 irrigation pump that I used to use at the garden as a sand point well pump. Something like that (in conjunction with a float/switch) would probably be just right for pumping down your pit.

But with all the rain you have had lately, I can see how there would be nowhere for it to go. Reminds me of the year we got 30" of rain during the month of June and it completely flooded and ruined my beautiful garden.
 
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Old 02-21-18, 06:21 AM
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Thanks for the quick responses. I can't get pics as the house is 50 miles away. The water ultimately needs to go across the road to the West of my house because it's about 2 feet higher than my lowest point. Ideally the town would install a small tile under the street because there is a Creek about an 1/8 mile West of the road that everything needs to drain to. Any ideas for pumping across/onto the road? I've considered a 2" line to near the road with a vertical discharge about 2 feet high and putting a 90 on top to discharge into the street. I would control it with valves and only utilize it during these floods.
 
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Old 02-21-18, 06:28 AM
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Pic

This is a pic of the street I need to cross. Thankfully once my yard maxes out it drains on its own. I need a way to continue to move the water after it drops below street level.
 
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Old 02-21-18, 10:06 AM
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I presume your property is the one where the flag pole is.
It looks like the other visible house in the picture is lower than you are.... and flooded.
That's the direction you are trying to send the water ?
 
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Old 02-21-18, 11:41 AM
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It might get a little tricky if you are sending your water into someone else's property. If there are no storm sewers in the street I think you are probably screwed. Around here people's sump pumps often terminate at the curb.
 
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Old 02-21-18, 06:42 PM
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The perimeter nearly horizontal drain pipe system (a form of French drain) with a connection to empty itself out into your sump pump pit is the standard way of collecting ground water and minimizing if not preventing flooding of your basement. Assuming your sump pump keeps up and the basement does not flood then everything there is functioning correctly.

Even if there were a more easily accessed low area where the sump pump output would drain away more quickly by itself, you would still have your own sump pump running like it does now.

You might want to regrade your lot so the 2 foot deep puddle does not accumulate in the middle.
 
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Old 03-15-18, 11:00 AM
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there's no culverts or ditches or drainage swales to direct the water away from the homes and to the creek? hmmm. All the pumps in the world will not help you unless/until you find a way to get the water off your property. I would be a regular fixture at the local village/township meetings speaking up about the complete lack of a drainage plan when this neighborhood was permitted. if they don't act, get your neighbors together and dig the ditches yourselves (rent an excavator) and put the culverts under the driveways yourselves (again, excavator) and send the water to the main street where it can flood the street and wash over to the creek. if the creek is behind the neighbor across the street from you (I couldn't quite make that out from your description) then make a deal with him to dig a swale or burry a 12" pipe across his property to drain your lot. run the pipe under the street in front of your house. dig up the street in the middle of the night and do it. if they try to arrest you tell them you had no choice since they don't know how to design a neighborhood and refuse to act.

for referecne, I burried 300ft of 10" solid wall culvert pipe across my property to drain 3 acres of higher ground across the street. so i've dealt with this kind of thing before. But I had a place to put all the water. you don't. so you'll have to work with your neighbors. it looks like you're all in the same boat (pun intended) so you should be able to agree on something.
 
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Old 03-15-18, 03:52 PM
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The basin has tile that runs under the slab (4") that collects very minimal water.
The perimeter tile (4") around the footer was brought through the wall and that's where my water comes from.

Sounds like the area UNDER the basement is fairly dry, groundwater moving UP is not a problem. Problem is groundwater from the surrounding area flowing horizontally into the perimeter tile.

What you want is an underground dam to restrict the flow of groundwater to a reasonable amount. Actually, that IS possible, it's essentially the same process as fixing a leaky man-made pond.

Process below is based on great-uncle farmer who built several farm ponds.

You'll need dry weather, a backhoeand several tons of Bentonite clay pond liner. (~$75-$150 a ton) Could take a few weekends to complete.

Basic Idea is, dig a perimeter trench around the house, and fill the trench with compacted bentonite-soil mixture to block surrounding goundwater from flowing towards the house.

Have your utility companies come and mark all underground pipes or conduit.
Layout a trench which avoids utilities and tree roots as much as possible.

Start with hand dug holes where the proposed trench crosses utility lines.
Dig down to subsoil or compact clay, something that's NOT going to let water through.
Extend the hand trench a few feet out from the utilities.
Mix excavated soil with dry bentonite, backfill in layers, compact.with a hand tamper as needed.

Switch to the backhoe, and dig trenches to connect the hand dug holes.
Mix the excavated dirt with Bentonite, (IIRC, that meant scoop dirt into the bucks, add bentonite, and mix in the bucket using a gas powered garden tiller - not-quite-OSHA-approved)
Dump the dirt-tentonite mix into the trench and compact.
Repeat until you have a "dam" around the house.

If you have any Bentonite left over, create berms over top of the trench, with a swale, outside, to direct the surface water away.
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 03-15-18 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 03-16-18, 09:40 PM
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