High water table question

About a month ago my basement had water due to the week long rain in the Northeast in mid-October. Since then I've been trying to educate myself with the water table in my area. The previous owner of my house use to have a shallow well pump in the basement. The pump is gone, but the 2" galvanized pipe is still in the ground, sticking up about 3" above the basement floor. If you look inside and measure, the water is 23" below my basement floor. Just to be sure this was not "trapped water", I used my shop vac to suck out as much water as I can in the pipe, but within minutes the water level rose again. So I'm assuming this is the water table. It has been a constant 23" for the past 2 weeks. I am assuming this is what it is normally since we had little or no rain recently. So my question is should I be concerned? Is this normal for the water to be just 23" below the basement floor? I live in a 45 year old split-level. I don't know if its been like this since the house was built or if the water table changed over the years. Any input appreciated. Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It is 2 feet lower, it will do no harm but make your basement humid which painting with oil paint and a dehumidifier can cure. I live a few feet from a lake and many people I know have much higher levels. I would plant trees if you are concerned and there are few, you might be able to irrigate your lawn cheaper with a pump and free water.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I can't help you with the water table issue. I can, however shed a little light on the problem this time. Many areas of the Northeast received far more rain than normal in the course of nine days. Basements that have been dry for 40 years had water in them. At work, we had 16.5" of water in the building, the first time since 1936 when it was 1/4" higher.
You can expect it to happen again. It was 69 years between events this time. It may be another 69 years, 150 years, or next month. Plan accordingly.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
the answer lies somewhere between your 2 neighbors and their basements, your frost line, the house drainage system for rainwater, the house sewer system, a local old time experienced plumber, the previous owner, and the local municipality and its requirements. consider additional uestions... the local well was replaced by city water or a different well? why? insufficient? low quality? unsanitary?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would be tempted to properly connect a shallow well pump or sprinkler pump to that well. You could then run the pump during problem times to keep the water table below the level that would leak into your basement. It could also serve to water your yard other times.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Get your fishing rod and drop a weight down the well. See how deep it is. Around here the wells are usually around 200 feet deep but the water pressure in that aquefer will drive the water up to very close to ground level. (artesian well) 20 years ago they would free flow. These days the static level is 2' to about 25' down in the dry season. There are a couple aquifers between ground water and the one we use but this is the first one with decent water.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 12 Nov 2005 01:27:41 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I'll say one thing. If that pipe was in my basement, It would either have a pump connected to it, or be capped. If the water table rises over 23 inches, its not just water seeping into walls, the basement becomes part of the well.
I know this from experience. I owned a house in a high water table area. The house had a pit well. From the pit, there was some of that old 4" orangeburg running into the basement, used as a conduit for the 1" plastic water pipe to the pump. One night we had a bad rain storm. I heard water pouring in the basement. Took a look and found water gushing out of that 4" pipe. The sump pump was running constantly. But the sump pump had a 1 1/4" pipe going outside. There is no way the sump pump could keep up with that 4" pipe spilling into the basement, full blast, because the water table rose above basement level, and thus the well pit rose and was dumping a full 4" stream.
Look at it this way, a 4" pipe is larger than most fire hoses. That's a hell of alot of water coming in.
I grabbed a spare sump pump with a flex hose and ran it out the window. Sat it right on the floor, since there was a foot of water in the whole basement by then. But even two pumps could not keep up. Then to turn a bad situation into a disaster, lightning knocked out my power. It took less than an hour to fill the entire basement to over 5 feet deep. When the power came back on, the sump pumps still could not carry the water away fast enough to make any real noticable drop in the depth. I simply had to wait till the water table dropped. days later. By them the furnace, water heater, washer and dryer, and lots of other things were all destroyed, as well as the jet pump for the well.
All it took was a little cement inside the orangeburg and around the plastic well pipe to prevent this from happening again. If it was not for that pipe, I would have had seeping water in the basement thru cracks in the walls. One sump pump could have easily kept the water to only an inch or less on the floor. When the power went out, it may have gotten a foot deep (during the 3+ hours it was out). But that pipe was disaster.....
Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for you responses. In answering some of your questions: this pump was used for sprinklers. I believe the previous owner stopped using well water because it was staining his sidewalk, and everything else the water came in contact with. So he switched to city water. Even if I did cap the pipe, water would still come between the side of the pipe and the floor. I found this out when my basement flooded. No water ever came out of the pipe itself because the pipe is 3" above the floor and the water inside was 2" above the floor when it flooded, but it did come through the side of the pipe, as well as from under the slab throughout the entire basement. As the other poster remarked about Artesian wells, I could measure how deep my well is. If this is a deep well, then could I assume it does have some pressure in it? My neighbor next door has lived there for 30 years and said this is the first time he got water in the basement, as well as other people on my block. Meanwhile some houses on my block did not see any water, like my neighbor down the block, whose house sits lower than mine.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Be sure to take slope and drainage into account. Someone who's "lower" might also be adjacent to a better route for water to drain along. When you're on a gradual slope and it rains well beyond the usual the water isn't running down the slope 'fast enough' to get away from the house. The house down the block may simply have the luck of being position such that the water found it easier to run downhill. There's also geological possibilities but it's probably just the overall slope of the property.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I measured my well.It is 21 feet deep (below basement floor).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

OK that sounds like you are looking at ground water unless there is some containing rock ledge or clay right there. It may not ever rise but if it does your basement will probably be wet. Do your neighbors have sump pumps?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Your " standpipe" is 3" up water was 2" up you were real close to a flood. Raise the pipe, concrete the base and get a screw cap to seal it. Open it for watering or putting a pump down it, you have a very high table, you may need pumping at different times.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
m Ransley wrote:

As I said in my other post, the water never came out of the pipe, but it did come up through the floor in the corners. So even if I did cap the pipe and concrete the base, water would still come up. I called the dept of public works yesterday, and they have a monitoring well about a mile away from my house about the same grade where I live. They said back in Sept, the last time they took a reading, they measured water at 7 feet below street level, which kind of made sense because my basement floor is 5 feet below street level, and plus the 2 feet below that is the water line in my pipe, equals 7 feet. I asked the engineer if that was normal, he said yes. I guess it somewhat answered my question. I just wanted to make sure my house does not sink one day.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Only a few have sump pumps, but they are the minority. For the most part nobody has sump pumps around here.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

With a water table that high, you REALLY need a sump pump. You will have to chop out the cement about 30 inch square. Get a plastic sump pit. Drill a series of 1/4" holes in it about 10 inches from the top. Dig hole the depth of the pit. Install pit and put gravel around it. Cement in the top of the pit to match the floor. Then install your pump and piping.
I'd still put hydraulic cement around that well pipe and cap it when not used. Put hydraulic cement in other floor holes too.
Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.