If I want to install a long (30ft+) drainage pipe underground for my sump discharge, should the pipe be perforated or solid? The pipe will flow down and out into a creek. This is in a region that has very cold winters (<0F).

  • Are basement sump contents considered clean enough to be discharged into surface waters? Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 22:25
  • 1
    @JimStewart unless I'm mistaken, it should only be rain/ground water.
    – Programmer
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 2:34
  • So basement sump water is traditionally pumped out on the surface away from the foundation, as opposed to being put into the sanitary sewer? Is sump water ever put into the sanitary sewer? Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 8:11

2 Answers 2


If it can be guaranteed to have a continual and "definite" down slope to the exit point, perforated pipe is not necessary. If it is more of a flat run, or has sections where water will pool, holes are prudent especially in colder climates.

It is wise to remember that the ground moves during the winter months.. what was a slight down slope when you laid the pipe may turn into an up slope when the ground freezes.

Also, if you plan on running the pipe through an area that has trees close by, tree roots WILL find the holes in perforated pipe, and will eventually clog it.


Typical practice is to make the first 10 feet or so solid and use perforated after that, but that would vary depending on where it is relative to the building basement floor - for a pumped sump I assume the pipe is above the floor level, so 10 feet of solid to get it away from the building and then the remainder perforated to allow it to drain water from the yard as well.

If the pipe is below the basement floor level you would not need a pump, as gravity flow downhill from there would carry water away, and it would all be perforated.

  • The pipe is above floor level and I plan on putting it underground. The pipe will flow away from the house for about 30-40ft before emptying above ground.
    – Programmer
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 2:36
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    It is important to have at least the first section of pipe solid and use earth to back fill in this section. If perf pipe is used and or rock back fill in the first section you may find you are pumping water out and some runs back to be pumped again. +
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 3:01

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