One half of the area under a small house is not quite tall enough for a 5'4" person to stand up in. This main cellar has a wafer-thin rat slab with no gravel underneath. The other half is a crawl space with a dirt floor. There is a soil cliff transition.
The rat slab doesn't seem to be serving any useful function in terms of critter control, given the extensive connected unpaved section. Also, it's not remotely keeping the cellar dry.
Although overall it has some slope down towards the sump pail (and pump), it's uneven in its slope, and bumpy in some places. As a result the water that trickles in pools up in some parts.
I have seen other houses in this area (upstate New York) with dirt floors. I wonder if this cellar would be better off without the rat slab?