In the Grand Island area, high groundwater has long been a fact of life. First documented when the settlers arrived, the City started monitoring the groundwater levels in the late 1960’s. In some ways, it is an asset: it provides our drinking water and can be utilized to create beautiful lake-front properties. Unfortunately, many basements were built below the groundwater table, leaving some property owners with a constant source of concern.
The fastest, often least expensive step to prevent water in your home is to make sure that your landscaping is directing all stormwater away from the foundation of your home. Extend downspouts, re-slope your landscaping, plant trees where available to drink in the water. This doesn’t address groundwater but it does keep the rain from adding to your troubles.
If you have water in your basement and your neighbor doesn’t, consider the depth of your basement. The depth of just one cement block (generally 8″) can mean the difference between a dry basement and a lengthy refinishing project. Some people with enough ceiling clearance might consider filling in a few inches of their basement.
Not ready to fill in your basement? Unfortunately, the most effective way to keep groundwater out of your home is to invest in a drainage or pump system. These systems are costly and there is no guarantee they will keep your property dry. Some companies try to sell you the moon so take the time to shop around, get quotes, and educate yourself before committing to purchasing a system. Once installed, remember to perform regular maintenance on your system to ensure continued protection.
Last- remember that our stormwater system is separate from our sewer system. Discharge any clean water that may be pumped out of your basement into the stormwater system. Connecting your sump discharge to your sewer line is flirting with danger- you could cause a sewer back-up in your own home at any time.