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Question DetailsAsked on 7/15/2017

after some heavy rain there appeared a continuous large leak from my neighbors yard could this be a sump pump probl

leak is from about a six inch hole at the edge of their property next to mine. could this be a sump pump drain that somehow went bad after a heavy rain and how to fix it. the water comes out faster after it rains

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1 Answer


If coming out a hole likely a "discharge" , not a "leak" - i.e. intentional, form a drain pipe, which are commonly 4 or 6" in diameter.

Could well be from a sump pump - commonly a sump pump can put out about 15-50 gallons per minute - so generally in the range of what a 25' 1/2 or 5/8" garden hose (without sprinkler or spray nozzle - just bare end) puts out to maybe twice or three times that much. Normally a sump pump pumps the water in the sump down in a minute to three and then shuts off till it refills, so unless his underslab drains are really free-flowing, usually the flow will shut down after a minute to a couple of minutes runnning, staying off (so water flow would drop off rapidly to near nothing) for from a couple of minutes to as much as many hours as the sump fills back up and the pump kicks in again - normally a sump pump (unless basement is being flooded or almost so) cycles ewith a minute or two run time every 15 minutes to every couple of hours.

Obviously, if this flow tapers off real quick after the rain, then would not be a drain pipe from roof gutters, which would be another possible source of the water - but would normally drop to basically no flow with a few minutes after the rain stopped.

If it goes pretty continuous for an extended period of time, could be a wetwell pump discharge - basically a sump pump from an outdoor collection point and pump (or possibly gravity flow) from a french drain around his house foundation. Commonly, unless he has really poor drainage around the house, such a french drain would flow up to maybe 5 gpm or so during heavy rain (starting up maybe 1/2-1 hour into the rain) and could continue for hours or even a day or more afterwards.

If this flows for a long period of time (days), could be a yard french drain or a tap on a spring handling a lot of runoff water or a spring, which could flow for weeks potentially - or even year around if spring fed or in a real rainy area without freezing winters.

If you can look in it with a flashlight, you might see where it aims towards (normally are put in along a straight line if possible) - if aligned toward an end or corner of the house likely a sump or wetwell pump or french drain gravity drain, if toward the yard (especially if uphill side of property) more likely a yard drainage pipe.

Another possibility - could be a swimming pool discharge pipe - those are commonly rounted to the yard rather than the sewer, especially if on septic.

If the grass is blackish or killed off in the discharge area, or it is slimy and stinks, could be an illegal overflow from a leach field - some people (and shady contractors) put an overflow connection at the end of the leach field pipes so if the field gets saturated the effluent (sewage) run out through a drain pipe to some ditch or gully or nearby body of water or such. Not common but is seen at times.

Are you on talking terms with the neighbor - so could you just ask in passing when talking over the fence some time ?

If the water is not discharging in a natural surface drainage (where surface runoff would normally flow anyway after a good rain) then he has a responsibility to see that the discharge does not cause a problem for neighbors - forming a boggy area or causing gullying or such on the neighbor's (your) property. If discharged in a natural drainage, assuming this is water from rainfall, generally one is allowed to discharge natural drainage into natural drainage channels.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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