Sands in French Drain

gangAugust 28, 2011


With the recent Hurricane, Irene, dumping a lot of rain in NY/NJ area, my basement is flooded. I do have a french drain with the sump pump. But there aree severl spot inside the french drain where the water comes out strongly with a lot of sands. The sands block the french drain itself and water has no place to go but flooded the basemanet.

What is the problem (I thought the french drain is supposed to handle the blockage)? What can I do?

Thanks for any help in advance.


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There are two types of weeping tile. For at least the last 30 years, flexible plastic tile has been the standard. It comes wrapped in a fabric sock to prevent the infiltration of sand. However, plant roots can still penetrate these and impede water flow.

Before then, clay tiles were used--about one-foot long sections of pipe loosely inserted into each other. Over time, these shifted, were crushed or collapsed becoming useless. I see these all the time when I demolish homes from the 1950s and 1960s.

To check the condition of your weepers and see whether they can be cleaned out successfully, you can have them inspected with a camera.

Here, when I have built on sand, the soils engineer has recommended that I not use any weepers as the sand itself is the best form of drainage.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 8:40AM
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