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Underground sump system

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Matlock Lawncare, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. Matlock Lawncare

    Matlock Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Not sure if I am posting in right forum, Sorry if it wrong. I have been working on a customers landscape installing a few walls and some walkways. He came to me and asked me what I could do for drainage in his back yard. His yard is a corner lot and is pretty small. It is square shaped and is the basically the catch basin for all the yards up the hill from him. Now the house is a walk out basement and the grade slightly slopes towards the house. No way of regrading. Customer says yard is constantly wet even in dead of summer. He possibly thinks there is a natural spring. When I walked in the back yard my foot sank down to the ankle. I was thinking of putting some french drains in and connecting to a underground sump system and pumping it into the sewer, Which is slightly up hill and 40 feet away. My problem is I cant find a basin with a solid lid that will withstand enough weight not to break in if walked on. Plus I have never installed one before and would appreciate any tips or input that you guys can help me with.
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Check around, you probably have a concrete company that make catch basins, bulk heads, etc..

    The only problem with this issue, is what kind of codes are in your area for doing such work. I would get in touch with the local secretary and go from there.

    For all you know, it's their problem, not the homeowner.
  3. Isobel

    Isobel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 548

  4. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    This issue sounds like something that needs a little more than guessing. I don't imagine any town, county or state will let you pump storm water into a sewer system, at least not without proper engineering and permits. If you are going to try and move the water to a storm drain system, that is quite a bit different, but will still need some type of runoff calculations.

    Contact NDS, or one of the other major storm water appliance manufacturers and get their assistance. NDS has a great network of field personnel to assist in such complex situations. Any time you incorporate a pump to move storm or ground water, you really should be consulting an engineer or at least an expert in drainage.

    An NDS Flo-Well can be used as a sump basin that will not collapse under normal circumstances, but be very sure of the size of retention and pump capacity you will need. Address as much of the inflow that you are able, including downspouts and yard runoff, before attempting to remove the water from the area. If they are the low spot in the neighborhood, berms and catch basins to intercept that flow may work. Direct as much water away from the problem area as possible, before attempting to pump it away. Have you performed a soil survey or percolation test to determine the permeability of the existing soil grade or what lies beneath? There is a web site sponsored by the USDA that may help in your quest. http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/
    It takes a while to read and understand how to use the site, but it is a great asset in determining existing soil conditions and permeability.

  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Ya, I've got some red flags that flying when I think of this project.

    There might be more going on than you think. The sewer system could be leaking somewhere, water pipes leaking, etc...

    Not to mention utilities and what would have to be done if any are in the way.

    I'd just call the city first and go from there. Start from the ground up. If it's more involved, call a sub in to do the work and just take a cut.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    How far do you have to dig for good drainage soil?
    Is there any chance of a high water table?

    If this is only natural drainage from a slope it is really no different than a pasture valley. Eventually the soil in the valley generates a film that does not let the water perculate to the water table. If you are in the lowlands , that can be a problem. If you are sitting on 6 feet of clay or more that can be a problem.
    Otherwise , no problem. I have fixed these types of things b4 and it really is quite easy, as long as you have a gravelly. sandy subsoil.
  7. Matlock Lawncare

    Matlock Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    It is mostly clay with about 3 inches of top soil. I am getting gun shy on this one and may pass on this one. The only problem is this is a customer I have had for six years and have done just about everything for him, hate to dissapoint them.
  8. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Do the research, get a little help, do it right. Make a client happy and make some money. Drainage is not difficult, it just takes some research, calculations and often a little expert advice.


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