Sump pumps are common tools in our area to keep basements dry. They work by acting as a collection point for the clean groundwater around the foundation of your property and then pump the water out into the yard or storm sewer.
If you have a sump pump on your property, make sure you are familiar with your pump. It is a good idea to do basic maintenance twice a year to ensure the sump will work when it is needed.
-Make sure the screen at the base of the pump isn’t clogged with sand or slime.
-Inspect the check valve, remove any buildup, and test it by pouring water into the sump.
-When you pour water into the sump, does it kick on at the correct water depth?
-Consider inspecting the discharge pipe for cracks or clogs to ensure the water is pumped far away from the foundation. Ideally, a discharge pipe should put the pumped water over grass so that it can soak in OR into existing underground storm sewer.
This is a good image of “What not to do“
- Don’t block the sidewalk with a solid pipe
- Don’t discharge to the gutter. Instead: look for a storm drain, hire a plumber to connect directly into the storm sewer, or discharge on your property into a permeable surface like grass, rock, or a garden
Know that having a sump pump connected to the sanitary sewer is gambling with disaster. The sewer pipe may be close to capacity- your clean ground water could fill the pipe and cause a sewer backup into the closest available outlet: your home drains.
Need a little more instruction? This plumber made a video for sump pump owners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAquntA5Ba0.