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Author Topic: Dewatering - Groundwater issue  (Read 659 times)

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Offline square1

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Dewatering - Groundwater issue
« on: December 04, 2019, 07:06:53 AM »
A question for those having been around the block a time or two more than I. 

My friend's sump pump is kicking on within 45 seconds of shutting off.  This is a new development (26 years she has lived in this house).  We've hit a stretch of a couple weeks straight of either rain or snow that melts quickly. 

This past summer she had many,  many shrubs & bushes removed around the perimeter of her house because she was told they were too close to her foundation.  I've helped her slope the dirt away from the foundation in the areas where removing the shrubs left low ground near the house and we've ran the downspouts out 10' from the house toward lower ground to no avail. 

The high groundwater keeps flowing into the sump crock and the pump is running almost non stop. It is also affecting the house drains negatively 

Any ideas or proven methods to move ground water away would be greatly appreciated.

Offline Don P

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Re: Dewatering - Groundwater issue
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2019, 07:29:57 AM »
Are there exterior perimeter footing drains? Assuming so, it sounds like they are not doing their job. Find and snake them as much as possible, try to get them working again.
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Offline square1

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Re: Dewatering - Groundwater issue
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2019, 07:44:26 AM »
I haven't found anything that resembles a clean-out for drains in the crawlspace or outside except for the line to the septic tank. Granted I don't know if perimeter foundation drains would have an easy access clean out. Do you typically have to unearth them? Thanks.

I should add water has been standing for the past week in neighboring lawns that are lower than hers in greater amounts than ever before (to her knowledge). The ground is saturated. While working on downspouts there was water coming up through the grass where I stepped.

Offline wisconsitom

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Re: Dewatering - Groundwater issue
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2019, 09:36:24 AM »
Square1, I might be wrong about this, but I'm right across the big lake from you and it has just been very, very wet this year.  I'm seeing water standing in areas it never did before (in my experience).

A bit about perimeter drains;  My 100+-year-old house never had a sump pit.  We would get tiny amounts of water after prodigious rainfall events.  Little trouble.  I was told that this old house probably had a tile system around the foundation perimeter that likely ties into the sanitary sewer somewhere.

Fast forward to 2019 and my street is getting reconstructed.  New sewer and water mains, new laterals where needed, and the option to put in a "mini sewer" which is a separate drain line for sump pump output to go directly into street stormwater collection system.  I opted to just put in the stub, so if I want to later, I can tap into that.  But when we learned that this reconstruction was taking place, I had the worry that when the suspected old tie-in was severed, I would now have water problems in the basement.  The laterals and the coming assessment were already going to be expensive for us, but I elected to spend still more dollars and do the safe thing and put in a pit and pump.

But when we dug the pit and did the associated plumbing down in the basement, we never found a tie-in to sanitary.  No nothing, no clue.....it may be that there is some kind of long-buried French drain....or maybe it just drains to....nothing!  So I am told by the excellent building inspectors that I know.  They say that anything and everything can be found in these old drainage systems.

Not much help I know, but at least, don't be surprised if you can't find a cleanout or any other clue for that matter, as to how your old tile system may be working-or not.

Many, many shrubs and bushes were also soaking up a lot of soil moisture.  They're gone now, and that too could be a partial factor in this.  But my suspicion is that it is just the excessive moisture that nature has been providing those of us in the north recently.

Online Old Greenhorn

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Re: Dewatering - Groundwater issue
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2019, 10:22:29 AM »
This may or may not help but we had a problem at my folks house with short cycling. Turned out the line was clogged due to a collapse. The water was pumping up and out just outside the wall, then coming back in right away. Also had a problem with a long line that was running right back down the line and refilling the sump. Installed a check valve in the line solved that problem.
 For the collapsed line I wound up hand digging a 60' trench 2' deep (that was fun!) and running new PVC instead of the old tar pipe they had. It was a sharp downhill run from the wall penetration, so there was never a freezing problem.
 Good Luck.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Dewatering - Groundwater issue
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 10:58:17 AM »
I had the same problem. the corrugated pipe was filled with dirt and water went to other side of the well then right back in.

Dug up the pipe and replaced it. all is good now.

Offline square1

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Re: Dewatering - Groundwater issue
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2019, 11:42:27 AM »
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm hoping somewhere in these answers I find a solution.
I can see the sump pump discharge outlet. It's some distance from the house and is dispensing a good stream of water when its running.
The larger areas of standing water than before, increased sump pump activity, and slow drains leads me to believe the bushes (there were a lot) that were removed took a lot of water out of the soil. Now we need another method to do that. 
Any thoughts on burying a 55 gal drum with holes in it and pumping any water collected off into the distant low areas? Or am I going after bear with a BB gun with that idea?

Offline wisconsitom

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Re: Dewatering - Groundwater issue
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2019, 12:04:11 PM »
I should have thought of this earlier Square1, but does your system include a check valve?  If not, all the water that is remaining in the pipe run, but not quite pumped out into the yard can now drain back down into the pit,  The pump has to keep pumping essentially the same water over and over again.  Could this be the case?  When I rigged mine up, using a submersible pump, I placed a short stub of pvc from the pump outlet.  To this I attached a simple check valve from the hardware store.  

If you've already got this, then this message can be safely ignored.  I don't really know if you'll get anywhere with the barrel idea.  My sense right at this time is that if you're living anywhere from Maine to Minnesota, you are in an area of pronounced wetness, both this year and last.

Offline Arctiva

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Re: Dewatering - Groundwater issue
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2019, 05:50:42 PM »
I get water in my crawl space, I pump it out to the yard that has standing water in it for it to soak back into the ground and come back into the crawl space. Difference being I have no standing water in crawl space. Bushes no amount will make any difference in groundwater level. It's been a wet 2 years. 

Offline retiredmechanic

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Re: Dewatering - Groundwater issue
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2020, 07:19:11 PM »
not immediate solution but for long term, planting trees that suck a lot of water like willow trees can be used and the type of soil that is there has a lot to do with high moisture levels but daunting task to change the soil obviously, but the easiest solution in my book would be french drains around perimeter installed then re sealing the basement walls however I have never lived up north soooo... all I know is that ground saturation can cause serious problems when lasting long term Good Luck 
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Dewatering - Groundwater issue
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2020, 09:51:37 AM »
A solution to some degree could be a series of "french drains " If the property sits above blue clay for example it's almost impervious to water penetration .This is the stuff they make clay tile and bricks from .You need an auger to go through maybe 8 feet of it and then fill the hole with large stone like number 1's and 2's limestone .It just allows the surface water to have a place to go below the clay if that's the problem . 


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