Latest Discussions : Lawn & Garden


07:42AM | 03/24/03
Member Since: 03/04/03
44 lifetime posts
I am helping my father deal with a water problem in his backyard. He is land locked, and his yard fills with water. He can't regrade. He lives in the NE (NYC). During the mild months, he has a sump pump move the water from a basin in the yard to the street via PVC piping. Around October, he needs to remove the pump because of the freezing tempertures. Right around now, he ends up with a swamp in the yard as the snow/ice thaws.

Is there any way to keep the pump outside year round, and prevent it from freezing up?


Jay J

03:46PM | 03/25/03
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi philipb,

Yes - You need to 'bury' it BELOW the frost line.

Usually, the dry well is lined w/a cloth material to keep the gravel in the well from becoming 'polluted' with dirt. Then, a bucket/stack is set in the middle of the well, and the pump is lowered onto a small bed of gravel, at the bottom. THen, a pump line is run out the top and into some sort of drain line, like what you have.

THe key here is 1) to put the pump below the frost line. 2) Line the well w/the material, like filter fabric or landscape fabric. 3) line the bottom w 3-4" of 3/4" gravel. 4) set a stack/bucket in the bottom of the well for the pump, and make sure it has LOTS of 'holes' in it for water to make it's way into it. 5) Make sure you have a stack all the way to the TOP of the well for access and maintenance. 6) Fill the rest of the well w/gravel after the stack is inserted. 7) Run the pump line to a secondary drain line, like non-perforated pipe, so the water can be taken away from the well. 8) 'Cap' the well w/nice, landscape gravel, making sure to cover the stack first. (Your stack should 'terminate' about 3" below the surface ...) 9) Most importantly, make sure your pump is rated to pump to the height that you have AND through the water-line that it's pumping through. And make sure it's rated for below-ground use.

If you don't use the right pump, you could be in big trouble. (Just think of what might happen if the pump fails ...) My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J Moderator

PS: God Bless America!


09:32PM | 10/25/16
Member Since: 10/25/16
2 lifetime posts
Thank you for that answer, it is really helpful and applicable to what I am attempting right now. Our house is built over a very low spot, and find myself installing a sump pump in the yard in Wisconsin to lower the ground water level that is threatening our foundation (by threatening I mean hoisting it yearly).

At any rate, your description has helped me come up with a solid plan for a year round sump pump (and I plan to use heated output lines to carry the water in winter).

The plan is this - digging a 24" hole to a depth below the local frost line, inserting a sonotube (24" round 5' deep) wrapped with fabric with holes drilled in it. I will surround it by gravel and pour a slight gravel bottom. I will then drop in an 18" x 30" sump basin surrounded by gravel (with holes drilled in it for water penetration) and install the sump pump.

Where I seem to have stalled, is how to properly cover the sump in the yard. I am not concerned with aesthetics as it is in a wooded lot, but I am concerned with properly capping it to ensure our brutally cold winter air is not penetrating down to the pump and therefore causing freezing. I don't want to fill the whole sonotube with gravel because I will need to get into the sump at times for maintenance.

Any suggestions would be welcome and greatly appreciated.


04:58PM | 11/02/18
Let me get this right: You are low enough that you need a sump pump and you say that by spring the yard is flooded. The advice you get here from a "moderator" is to dig a "dry well" below the frost line......

More really good information found on the web since 2003?


06:56AM | 11/30/18
Member Since: 11/30/18
2 lifetime posts
Hey, Thanks for the information. Even I was excited to know about this.

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