We live in flood plain area and we have a high water table. For some reason our home has a basement. We have lived there almost 15 years and our basement has flooded 3 times when it rains a lot. There is a hole for a sump pump, but the first time it rained and filled up we had like 2 feet of water for like 3 weeks, despite having 2 sump pumps going continuously. I guess it has to dry out enough outside and the water table has to go down before the water will stay out of the basement. I believe the water comes in through a few cracks in the floor and maybe the hole where the sump pump goes. The walls are cinder block and the ceiling is drywall. So what can be done to stop the water from coming in? Any advice is appreciated! Thanks!

I don't know if our home has foundation waterproofing. In 2005 when it really rained a lot for days on end is when we used 2 sump pumps and I think the reason they couldn't keep up is due to the water table being higher due to all the rain. So I think that even though we were pumping the water out of the basement, water kept coming through the floor because the water table was so high. Again, the times it has flooded, it has been a lot of water over 3 or 4 days so I wouldn't say it was moderate rain. We are at the bottom of a hill and there are 3 homes on the hill and the water comes off the hill onto our property. Even after it quits raining, water continues to come off the hill for a few days. Also, there is a pond across the street from us that they just dug down and hit water and there is a creek near us as well. Thanks for the advice.

  • Do you know how high the water table is in your area? If it's a flood plain, there's a chance it's often above the slab or your basement...which, if true, means there's not a whole lot you can do.
    – DA01
    Jan 15, 2016 at 21:03
  • 1
    What's the local topography? Are you at the bottom of a basin? Or is it possible to run a pipe to lower ground somewhere?
    – ench
    Jan 15, 2016 at 21:33
  • Hi Lisa. Please use the edit link underneath your question if you want to make changes or add extra information to it. Use the add a comment link under an answer if you want to discuss some detail with the respondent. Thanks, and welcome to the site!
    – Niall C.
    Jan 17, 2016 at 1:19
  • Had this problem in our house for 20 years. It cleared up a little when the guy up the hill did some landscaping to push water into a ditch, but the big improvement came when they discovered that the water main up the hill was cracked and they fixed that.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 8, 2020 at 17:31

2 Answers 2


The sump pail is there precisely because you can't prevent water from coming in, at least under the slab. It's unclear whether your home has foundation waterproofing installed.

It's also unclear why two sumps couldn't keep up. In all but the worst scenarios, one pump should be adequate, and it should only run every few minutes at most. If you have pumps running constantly due to moderate rainfall, you have bigger concerns. Is the landscaping around your home sloped the wrong way? Does your neighborhood's topography result in heavy flow through your yard? Is your home located in a lake or pond?

I do appreciate that you thought to mention the makeup of your ceiling. That successfully conveyed the scope of your problem. Unfortunately, a sump pump won't help if the water gets that deep.


There is nothing you can do, short of digging a drainage channel around the entire house which goes down to the bottom of the foundation and is then drained somewhere, which obviously has to be deeper than the foundation of your house. Normally in the situation you describe that is not possible, either because no such drain exists deep enough, or because the during the rain the storm drain will be full anyway, so draining into it is pointless. Might be a good idea to move to higher ground.

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