You're probably looking at an in-floor connection to the local
water-table, rather than what you seem to perceive as a piped drain.
Often it's just tile pipe to nowhere.
I've seen strange things happen with water level in such
"hole-in-the-floor." Like, after decades of a dry-hole, suddenly water
poured forth. Seems something changed subsurface water situation in the
area of the house. Then it flooded another half-dozen times.
Simplest solution: float-valved sump-pump.
Severe case: work on drainage around house perimeter.
If it is a sewer connection it should have an s-bend or some sort to
keep a water lock to prevent sewer gas from entering the basement.
The ones I have seen have a removable grate cover to prevent debris
If it an old pot style drain it may be less than 12" deep but will have
a pipe entering the side near the bottom.
You can use it for draining anything in the area but code may require
an air gap.