My situation is:

  1. I have a house with a full walk out basement.
  2. I have a spot on the external side of my house that takes several dry days to dry out after a rain.
  3. I have water under my basement floor as evidenced by water in the sewer cleanout access hole. It takes several days of rain before the water level rises. We have to have excessive rain in order for the water to rise above floor level.
  4. My yard is largely clay.

My thought was that if I could dry out the spot on the side of my house then the water would would not rise under the floor.

To that end I dug a 30" deep pit and put a sump pump in the pit. It appears the sump pump has run once. That is, the water does not seem to be seeping through the clay into the pit. It got a nice amount of water in it about an hour after I finished digging, but since then it does not seem to be taking in water except when it rains.

The external pump is about 4 feet from my foundation. That is about as near as I felt comfortable digging next to my house. it is also still in a rock bed so it is aesthetically pleasing location. it is about 30 feet from the hole in my basement floor where I can observe water, but I would guess that my whole basement floor has water if one spot has water.

Is it a hopeless struggle to get water to seep thru clay and I should just fill in the pit and not follow thru with the rest of the installation?

The bottom of the pit is 30" from ground level and 36" from the top of my floor in my house. I am of the mind to dig 6 more inches down.

  • 1
    Clay is rather self-sealing. You'd need a network of drain tile (perforated pipe) to effectively move water.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 21:01
  • you should put the pump as close to the problem area as possible in that situation.
    – dandavis
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 21:08
  • What level is the bottom of the pit relative to the basement floor surface level?
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 21:35
  • What is the height difference between the bottom of the pit and the floor of the basement? Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 22:38


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