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Thread: Moving sump discharge from sidewalk to lawn?

  1. #1

    Default Moving sump discharge from sidewalk to lawn?

    Here's my saga in brief - this past fall, after having the basement flooded due to a frozen sump outlet, I rented a trencher and buried our discharge pipe. Due to the slope of the lawn and the proximity of the neighbor's house I ran the pipe across the lawn and out through a stone wall onto the sidewalk. All has been functioning well, but I just learned that having the sump discharge on to a city sidewalk is a violation and if seen could result in our water being shut off - yikes.

    So does anyone know of any products to help distribute the discharge over a lawn? Or, there's a bank on the side of the lawn sloping down to the neighbors - would a stone/gravel bank work without flooding the neighbor? Since we're in Boston, freezing is a huge factor and since it's the front lawn, appearance is as well. And to give you a sense of volume, after long term heavy rains the pump will put out 4-6 g/min for 3-4 days.

    Thanks for any insights...

  2. #2
    Previous member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Riverview, Fl.


    It would look a little funny in the winter, but that 4 - 6 gpm would run a couple of sprinklers.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    They may allow you to connect the outlet to the storm sewer lines (not the normal sewer lines). This usually requires a special licensed plumber to do. This may be the cleanest method.

    Discharging the water onto the sidewalk would create a skating rink in the winter, creating a pretty bad safety hazard. Hope you liability insurance is pretty hefty.

    Depending on the slope and shape of things, a drywell might work, but it could end up just causing you to pump the same water all over again.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4


    Another solution is a plane ticket to California and a good agent to sell your house. These sump pump questions are foreign to those parts of the world without basements and high groundwater. Consider a mountainous rural area in California if regulations are against your philosophy.

    The more I read here, the more I realize that many basements are an expensive luxury.

  5. #5
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold


    that wasn't helpful friendly or sober.


  6. #6


    I live on the top of a hill in California and I have standing water under my house for 6 months out of the year. It comes from an underground spring, not improper drainage. I am going to install a sump pump to pump it out.

  7. #7


    Lucky! But maybe you can save the trouble of a pump system...

    Trench it to daylight to save a pump.... Or construct a siphon to avoid a pump, if your property line allows you to get below basement level. You can even construct an automatic siphon that will turn itself off and on and never use a single watt.

    OR.... dig deeper - develop it, and use the water for the house supply


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