Where is water coming from in my basement?

I bought a small house in Cincinnati Ohio that was built in the early 70s knowing that it was in bad shape, with a leaky basement, and I am rehabbing it. The gutters were broken, and the land near the block-foundation of the basement was sloping towards the basement in some spots. I fixed the gutters and directed downspout water away from the house. I also put dirt in the appropriate spots around the house so that the land around the foundation sloped away from the house for about 2.5 feet. However, the backyard generally slopes toward the house, and there is a swale at the Northwest corner of it that is lower than the SW corner of the house. I should also mention that the house has a sump pump (on the NE corner of the basement), and I installed a back flow preventer about 3 weeks ago, and both of those steps helped significantly when there were lesser rains. Also, the sump pump water flows out about 15 feet from the house in a pipe that I installed to handle the water flow.
On Friday night and Saturday morning we got about 2.6 inches of steady rain, and there were small puddles of water that appear to have come from the NW back corner, the NE and SE front corners. (Since I don't live in the house yet, I was not there to see exactly where the water came from.) There are a number of anomalies that appear to be suspicious to me. Downspout drain pipes on the south side of the house are apparently clogged -- I ran a hose into the the SE downspout, and it caused a significant amount of water to go into the sump pump's inflow pipe, so I capped it off, and I have the water from that downspout running down what is mostly a very subtle slope from the frontyard to the street. The other southern downspout was in a window well, and when I ran a hose into that downspout's drain pipe, the window well became soggy. So I removed the downspout and capped off the drain pipe.
Also, I installed perforated drain pipes on the north and south sides of the house (about 2.5 feet from the house) to take advantage of what is generally a slight slope from the back of the house to the front yard and street. The idea of the pipes was to absorb large amounts of flowing water and take it from the back of the house to the street in the front yard. However, I wonder whether the pipes, which are covered with gravel are merely attracting water and that the water is somehow flowing to the base of the basement -- Following the Friday night and Saturday morning rain, there was virtually no standing water near the house, and the ground on the surface was not mushy. Also, I didn't see any water flow in the pipes shortly after the rain.
Finally, there are about twenty 1/2" diameter holes drilled through the basement floor that are spread all throughout the basement. I don't know why they are there, but maybe they have some effect on the flooding. Since, I don't live in the house yet, I can't say whether any water is coming up through them or not.
On the basis of this situation, I am puzzled as to why the basement is leaking. If someone could give me their ideas as how the leaks are coming about and how to fix the problem, it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
JD
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snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com wrote:

Well I can make a few guesses and suggestions.
2.5 Feet is not enough to do any real good. You need more like 15 feet plus. What you are trying is the right idea, but I think you have failed because you did not go far enough.
I suspect you may have a problem with the local water table. How close are you to the river and how far above it?
Those holes are interesting. Maybe someone thought it would drain the water or maybe it has something to do with radon?
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

Joe,
I only have about 10 feet between adjoining landowners, so I couldn't pile up dirt for 15 feet even if it was practically feasible. There is generally a subtle slope from the back to the front, so I can direct the water from the back to the front to the street in front of my house if I need to. However, I am concerned that I have some weird situation where possibly old weeping tiles or the old clogged drain pipes are somehow attracting more than the normal amount of water to the foundation, and I am afraid that if I do more grading working, it won't work. Also, afraid that maybe there is something at the bottom of the basement that is causing the leaks although I am aware that 95% of basement water problems are caused by poor drainage.

I am 10 miles from the river. Also, I am about 100 yards away from the beginning of a plateau that sits above land that is about 100 feet lower. Additionally, I called a hydrogeologist at the county water department, and he told me that my house sat on bedrock, so I am pretty hopeful that I am not sitting on top of a low water table.

Have no idea -- wondering what others think.
JD

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Joseph Meehan wrote:

Joseph,
I only have about 10 feet between adjoining landowners, so I couldn't pile up dirt for 15 feet even if it was practically feasible. There is generally a subtle slope from the back to the front, so I can direct the water from the back to the front to the street in front of my house if I need to. However, I am concerned that I have some weird situation where possibly old weeping tiles or the old clogged drain pipes are somehow attracting more than the normal amount of water to the foundation, and I am afraid that if I do more grading working, it won't work. Also, afraid that maybe there is something at the bottom of the basement that is causing the leaks although I am aware that 95% of basement water problems are caused by poor drainage.

I am 10 miles from the river. Also, I am about 100 yards away from the beginning of a plateau that sits above land that is about 100 feet lower. Additionally, I called a hydrogeologist at the county water department, and he told me that my house sat on bedrock, so I am pretty hopeful that I am not sitting on top of a low water table.

Have no idea -- wondering what others think.
JD

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snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com wrote:

Have you discussed possible basement water issues with the neighbors? If your problem is an intermittently high water table then all of the immediate neighbors who have basements will probably have similar problems and whatever solutions they have come up with may work for you too.
Oh, and a visit to the city engineering office will probably yield some information about the soil the home is sitting in. If you find that the water table literally rises to ground level during heavy rains then your solutions are going to be different (and a lot more expensive!) than if the water table stays down 10 meters at all times.
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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John McGaw wrote:

John,
My immediately adjoining neighbors on the north and south of me do not have basements, so I can not use their situation as a barometer for mine. However, there is a house that is 2 houses away from mine and built identically to mine that has not had basement problems when I had them. I haven't questioned them about the most recent storm, but I will.

I have called the county's hydrogeologist, and he told me that my house sat on bedrock. From that I implied that the house is not in an area with a low water table. I may follow up with him, and ask him specifically about the water table where my house is located, but my memory is that he strongly implied that I did not have water table problems. Thanks for your input.
JD

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snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com wrote:

I seen the holes you describe, usually in the treatment of termites.
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