I recently had a gas line installed, and now there is water leaking into my basement about six feet below grade. It is not surprising that the 130-year-old fieldstone foundation is porous, but until now the water has been led away from the house, so the basement has been dry. Here is a picture, showing the path of the gas line in yellow:

gas line path

My theory is that the water is being led from the grassy area along the path of the gas line, where the dirt is less compact and therefore more permeable than before.

What can I do about it? Would running a drainage pipe to the end of the house help? If so, should start where the gas line ends, or does it need to be under the gas line the entire way?

  • How deep is the gas line buried? Usually gas is only a couple of feet deep. Aug 2, 2012 at 2:05
  • @shirlockhomes: not sure about the depth; I wasn't here when they buried it. Aug 2, 2012 at 4:12
  • A strategically placed french drain might help, but it will be difficult to install in such close proximity to the gas line and meter.
    – Tester101
    Aug 2, 2012 at 12:14
  • French drain would give the water some where easier to go. To enhance the effect, re-excavating the area near the house and back filling with water resistant material (high in clay or bentonite?) could help. Gas line is often bedded is sand to help protect it, and provides an easy path for water to move. Must ensure that bedding in clay or bentonite will not damage the line in any way.
    – bcworkz
    Aug 3, 2012 at 22:25
  • It doesn't look like there's much grade away from the house; make sure that you don't have a low spot above the gas line from settling. You may want add a few inches of compacted soil all along that section of the house to ensure that most of the water runs away on the surface before it has a chance to sink in.
    – TomG
    Aug 7, 2012 at 1:17

2 Answers 2


are you sure they haven't damaged a drain or water inlet line in the process of installing the gas? if a water inlet line was damaged and is on the inside of the meter it would spin the meter slowly (over say an hour or two) when you don't use any water in the house for that time. i would call the people that did the gas pipe install and ask them to find and fix. they're covered by insurance..and accidents happen.

[edit] maybe they hit a drain pipe instead. whatever the problem, they should fix it. you can't install a pipe in a way as to create a ditch that would cause moisture problems under normal conditions, which includes normal rain. to cause problems the ditch would need a considerable amount of bedding screenings and wrong slope, to start causing problems straight away just from rain infiltration into soil. or do you get five inches of rain each time?

you can't interfere (change) the bedding material (e.g. pouring in cement) so alternatives like french drain or deep auger holes (only if hydrology of the soil allows) are hard work and expensive.

  • Yes, there was no moisture in the basement until we got the first big rainfall; then it came quickly. Also, the water line is on the opposite side of the house. Aug 6, 2012 at 8:13
  • just because your water line is on the other side of the house doesn't mean there isn't something else near your problem area.
    – longneck
    Aug 7, 2012 at 17:28

Regrade the ground around your foundation. I can see from that picture that it appears to slope towards the house in some places. That's going to put more water up against the foundation than your gas line.

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