Flooding & Flood prevention » Groundwater Seepage

Groundwater Seepage

Groundwater seepage occurs when there is an excessive amount of water in the ground adjacent to a foundation wall or the basement floor. The pressure of the groundwater can build to a point that it may begin to “seep” through small cracks in the foundation or floor. Though this is completely independent of sewer backup, it can occur in quantities that can be categorized as flooding.

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What to do if groundwater seepage occurs

Substantial amounts of groundwater can enter a basement during heavy rain events. However, it typically enters the basement in a manner that is much slower than that of a sewer back up. As a result, it can typically be more efficiently and effectively managed than a sewer back up. Oftentimes mopping or vacuuming the water up with a wet/dry vac as it enters the basement can be enough to prevent it from causing any damage - if in an unfinished part of a basement. Or, in an instance when seepage may be occurring but no sewer back up, you can simply push any accumulated water toward a flood drain. 

How to prevent groundwater seepage

The following list are measures that can be taken in an effort to prevent seepage from occurring:

  • Make sure that the yard is consistently sloped away from foundation walls - any stormwater that accumulates near a foundation wall can lead to seepage
  • Ensure that all downspouts and sump pump discharge is conveyed away from the residence, into the front or backyard - if they discharge immediately adjacent to the foundation they can help contribute to groundwater pressure build-up and seepage
  • Ensure consistent slope toward the floor drain(s) in a basement
  • Drain tile/sump pump installation - this can be done on the inside or outside perimeter of the foundation wall and will typically relieve enough of the groundwater pressure to prevent seepage from occurring. For a list of Plumbing Contractors currently licensed in the Village, click here
  • Waterproof the foundation wall - there are companies that specialize in waterproofing which consists of installing a water-proof barrier around the foundation to help prevent water from getting to cracks in the foundation wall. For a list of Waterproofing Contractors currently licensed in the Village, click here. 

For those that do have a drain tile and sump pump to help relieve groundwater pressure around the foundation, here are a few items to consider to ensure your system continues to work efficiently:

  • Regularly check on your sump pump to ensure it is in working order and free of obstructions
  • Consider installation of a battery or water-powered back-up pump to ensure the system will continue working during a power-outage
  • Consider keeping an extra pump on-hand in case an existing pump fails
  • Consider the installation of a high-water alarm to notify you in the case where a pump fails or simply cannot keep up with incoming water
  • Consider the installation of a check-valve on the sump pump discharge line to ensure water does not flow back toward the pump at an time
  • For a list of Plumbing Contractors currently licensed in the Village, click here