well, i did some digging in the trench. the 'upper end' [where i first started this project] seems to be pretty much mud, it's hard to tell if there is even much drain rock in it at this point. it only took a few inches or so to get the 'red' muck out in a stretch of 3-4' of the run, now it's more or less sandy mud with some larger rocks here and there. at this point i would guess new drain rock is in order for this part. further down the line, right around the 't' i found, the sediment is much less, and looks like i can clean the rock from that point on towards the sump hole, cause it's actually coming out as dirty rock, rather than mud. also, as i was digging away on the beginning end, i found a few 'gurglers', spots where water was actually coming in under the footer. the water that's coming in in these spots is clear, so i have to figure the actual red sediment is coming in further down the line [i.e. where my fuel tank is located, the corner of the basement], so i'm thinking after winter i need to move my tank and hack up more floor.
now, seeing as i have struck mud, how far down should i dig? the 'finished' floor level is a few inches higher than footer the wall is built on, and in one section, i am at what i think is the bottom of the footer, where the mud is, how far down from this point should i go?
i must admit, i'm a bit overwhelmed at times as i look at this project, but also know if i keep at it, little by little i'll get it straightened out. i have finaly established a decent flow to the sump, so there is no more back-up/floor leakage, but in doing so i realise that i am also going to have to lower the sump hole as previously suggested because as things are now, the level that the water enters the hole coincides with the heigth of water needed to turn on the pump [submersible with a 'floating' on/off switch]. as previously suggested, lowering this area can only help in the long run.
i also noticed yesterday that i have an outdoor issue as well, which also goes along with some advice offered earlier. as you look at the front of my house, the wall i'm working near would be on your right, about six feet from the corner is a concrete 'apron' for a set of pre-cast steps, both of which are tilted, and butt up against the house/cellar wall. after some rain/snow, i had standing water against the cellar wall, so come spring time this will have to be addressed to cut down on water intrusion. the steps and pad in front of it are 'linked' to a narrow sidewalk type thing that end at my driveway, then runs along the driveway for maybe 20'. i'm thinking that since the driveway drains quite well [paved, and water runs to the end and into our 'ditch'], i'll hack out the steps/sidewalk, and re-pour the walk with an angle so it sends the water down the driveway. i was thinking of hanging rain gutters, but due to the amount of snow that builds up on this side of the house roof [wind blows from the back of the house, so the rear is clear usually] and the inevitable ice build up, i figure they'd get ripped off. but that is another project all together.
sorry to ramble on, but i thought i'd give an update on my progress so far, and what i found.
any further advice is much appreciated.