Wet Basements

Published on January 13th, 2013 | by Henri

1

Protecting basement from high water table

Q.   My sump pump runs at least 11 months a year. If the power goes out, my basement floods. The land behind me is high and when it rains a lot in the spring, my neighbors’ back yard is a lake. Is there anything I can do about this problem?

A.   From your description, it sounds as if you have a high water table or there is a lot of subsurface water coming down the hill. The solution may be a French drain (also called a curtain drain although there are differences between the two).

For either of these drains, a deep trench is dug at the base of the hill behind your house and is carried to one or both sides of the house until it can discharge to daylight. The side of the trench nearest the house is lined with 6-mil black plastic and the trench is filled with egg-sized crushed stones after a 4-inch perforated pipe has been laid a couple of inches above the bottom of the trench. The purpose is to intercept the subsurface water and lead it away from your basement.

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