Tips for Proper Sump Pump Drainage

A blue sump pump in a grassy area against a white fence.

When it comes to operating a sump pump, most people are aware of how to turn it on and off and the right place to put one. Few ever consider where the water goes. It would be easy to just stick the pipe outside and let the water seep into the ground; however, the world is engaging a more acute awareness to environmental hazards of that method. Sump pump owners now have to be responsible of where they put the water they pump just as companies do.


A sump pump has a pipe through which the water travels to eliminate excess water. A weather-proof tube is attached at the end of the pipe. This tube is flexible and can be bent to maneuver around objects in order to get the end away from your foundation. The end point of the hose is not really a point that receives much consideration.

The end point should be located at least 10 feet from the foundation of your house, preferably 20 feet away. If it is any closer, the water is just going to be reabsorbed by the soil that it probably the origin of the water. You will be pumping the same water repeatedly. This constant flow of water will damage your foundation and contribute to erosion.

Septic Tank

Even with the pumped water being 20 feet from your house, there are many things to take into consideration. The location should not be near your septic tank. If you are experiencing moist conditions, your septic tank is already dealing with an overload of water as it is. It most definitely does not need anymore water added to the load it already carries.

Sewer System

Because draining your sump pump into the sewer system can create flooding, it is not recommended either. It is also against many city ordinances. The consequences could be more than a large fine. You may also get a reputation for being a polluter, especially if the news media groups get involved.

Neighbor’s Lot

Not only out of courtesy, but also by in accordance with local laws, it is not advisable to drain your sump pump into your neighbor’s lot. Doing so only adds water to their land that they are probably not going to appreciate. You may also be held liable if the water contains contaminants.

If your neighbor grows prize winning tomatoes and they come out diseased and malformed, tensions will be escalated once they catch wind that you’ve been directing your flood water to their yard.

Check Your Tubing

If the tubing is not securely attached to the PVC pipe, then the water will leak and be reabsorbed into the foundation. That will lead to the corrosion which was mentioned earlier, as well as putting your sump pump under a harder work load than is needed. This will lessen the life of your pump and cost you money for premature replacement costs.

These tips for proper sump pump drainage will help ensure you avoid unnecessary messes. Also, you'll avoid drama with your neighbor!