Water, Water Everywhere And Why Is It All In My Basement?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by duke3522, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. duke3522

    duke3522 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Indiana
    Over the past few days I have read several threads about lack of water troubles on the home place. And it started me thinking about how lucky I am here in north central Indiana. Our well is only about 60 feet deep and has been giving us a continuous supply of water since my dad had it drilled in 1966. The only problem is that it is hard as a rock and a softener is essential if you have any women folk around. When DW first got ill of course our softener died within a few months (gee, 25 years of service and it just up and dies, what a piece of junk! LOL) and we went without for 2 years. Let me tell you even I was glad when we got the new softener.

    The only problem we have is when we get to much water. When the water table rises the water literally comes up though the basement floor. The worst was in 1998 when within two weeks we had almost 2 feet of rain and it kept raining in smaller amounts for weeks. My sump pump ran every 45 seconds for 18 days straight.

    Fortunately, the county cleaned out the Hand Ditch that runs around 3 sides of my property about a half mile away not to long afterwards. Now my family has been here since 1965 and we do not remember them ever cleaning it out before. It must have increased the volume of water it could hold by 6 fold at least. You wouldn’t think a ditch that far away would make a difference here on my little place, but it sure did. My basement use to almost never completely dry out, but now unless it really pours it is very dry.

    The ditch is also my wet basement forecaster. Since it runs around 3 sides of me I cross it everyday. If it’s raining hard all I have to do is watch that ditch. When it gets to about 2/3’s full I know it’s time to plug up the basement drain and unroll the sump pump hose so that the water flows into the ditch by the road. And when it fills up that’s about the time the river in my basement starts flowing.

    I just wonder what the folks who first built this house back in the 1880’s did in these situations. I don’t think they had electricity here until sometime in the Thirties. Best bet is that if they got a bunch of rain they had to move anything that couldn’t take the water above ground level.

    So next time I am on my hands and knees in a foot of ice cold water clearing what ever has clogged up the sump pump I will keep saying to myself “ I’m lucky to have all this water, I’m lucky to have all this water.” Guess that’s what you get for living in the middle of what use to be a swamp. LOL.

    BTW. Once when I was about seven the sump pump that was here when we moved in failed. The basement had about 4 feet of water in it before dad got one of his buddy’s out here with a portable pump. So I am sure it would fill to ground level given a chance.
     
  2. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Zone 8a, AZ
    I know that excessive water is a pain in the XXXX, however, you are indeed blessed to have water in the first place. I would gladly change places with you around July when I am exhaused from hauling water for: people, livestock, greenhouse yada yada yada!
     

  3. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Under the house we owned in GJ, CO, was an old cement cistern. The neighbor told us it never would hold the water all the time it was used as a cistern and the owners were glad when they could hook up to city water. Then the cistern was turned into a cellar. Trouble was, when the irrigation ditches were running the ground water level would rise and the cellar would get water in it. there was a sump pump, but the electric circuit it was on had too many other loads and the breaker would flip, shutting the pump off. My mom lived with me and she would have a hissy fit until I fixed the pump. As far as I was concerned it wasn't the greatest priorty because the level would fluctuate if you left it alone and never was more than 3 ft. And we did not keep anything down there anyway. But Mom KNEW if we didn't keep it pumped out, that it would just keep rising and rising and pretty soon would be flowing thru the living room (which was 2 ft above ground level.)
     
  4. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    reminds me of the house my wife and i lived in after we got married. basement would flood anytime it rained. came home one nite and heard the sump pump running away. when i opened the hatch found the water lapping at the floor boards . line had broken from the well pump and bothe it the furnace and the sump pump were trying to run under 8 feet of water :eek: :eek: pulled the breaker on the house and moved into the farmhouse here(we had been going to move but had put it off while we did some work on it)when i phoned the owner he said why did you not leave the pump run :no: and he was serios! thought the sump pump would clear the basment!!!pumped it out and fixed the pipe but left the system drained and shut off over winter
     
  5. ibcnya

    ibcnya Well-Known Member

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    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    South East Iowa
    Water is a precious commodity and to live where it's more or less a natural thing we take it for granted. I have been to places in the world where water is so precious that the women walk miles to get water and bring it back on their heads. We who live in the midwest have it fairly easy. It does rain here in Iowa on a regular basis. Will it or can it change? I hope it never does because the breadbasket of the world will disappear. I have what they call rural water and it is pretty good water. Cost me 1400 to install but it's monitered and it's safe. If I have to I can go to the abandoned quarry on the backside of the property for water and filter that to drink. I will get my own pond in someday for backup water.
     
  6. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    PA
    I live in the Mountains of eastern PA. When we move in the walkout basement had a small creek each time it rained (4" wide X 2" deep chisled crack across the hole floor.) when it rained the floor would just get a little damp except for the little trench. I thought i could fix this by installing a 4" drain pipe along the inside front basement wall so that is what I did. It worked great untill the basement was almost finished. When I did that the water really started to flow.......The 4" pipe was flowing full and fast under the now finished basement. Ahhhh. I then installed 2 4" perf. drain pipes outside the foundation in the front and sides of the house (7 foot down in the front.) this had to be hand dug due to the shape of the property and location of the house. This worked great. Lots of digging though. Now the 2 4" pipes flow fast filling a small drainage ditch for 2-3 months a year.

    Thousands and thousands of gallons of free spring water. Very Blessed? or cursed?


    P.S. The local indian tribe says the name of the town means "Land of flowing water"
     
  7. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    Ohh yeah, I didn't mention that I live on a hill that drops over 250 feet in a mile to the river. So the land is not even close to flat.
     
  8. Old John

    Old John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
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    Hi Sisterpine , Duke & Y'all,

    Yup, and that's one very important reason we stayed in Indiana.
    We lived in Indianapolis. We had our hearts set on a place in Montana.
    We know what the weather can be like all year round, in Indiana.
    But we wanted very much to move up to the big river complex,
    West of the Rockies. It is So-o-o-o......Beautiful up there along the
    Bitterroot, Lehigh, & some of those other rivers on the Western Slope.
    We love Missoula, Hamilton, Thompson Falls & Seely Lake.
    But We got to thinking about the water situation the year round.
    So we moved to SW Indiana, out on a hillside. We have a good well.
    We have good drainage, on down the hill. The woods at the bottom
    of our hills is like a wetland when it rains. But it drains into a nice creek.
    Water is Wonderful.
    I can not imagine how all the Folks, in our Great Western Plains & Mountains
    live with the meager amounts they frequently get.
    I think about our "Choice" frequently. I do LOVE Montana.
    I'll visit again one day.
    Have a good-un...........