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Sump Pump Drainage in Winter

Sump Pump Drainage in Winter

Sump Pump Drainage in Winter

I have a sump pump that has the water drainage hose buried under about 3 feet of soil and goes into a pond on my property. The problem is that the outlet is clogged and I cannot seem to get it cleaned out (it is under about two feet of water in the pond).

I would like to fix this by running a new line, but I cannot get it buried prior to winter. Can you run a sump drainage line on the surface during winter without the pipe freezing, if there is enough drop in the elevation to ensure complete drainage?

By the way, my sump runs all winter long, which is why I think they buried it in the first place. Any ideas what to do this winter?


RE: Sump Pump Drainage in Winter

Where are you? what is the average temp? average frost depth?

RE: Sump Pump Drainage in Winter

I am in Eastern Ontario (between Toronto and Kingston). The frost depth here calls for at least a 3 foot deep footing, etc. The sump ends in a pond, but is only about 12 inches under water. It never freezes that low, probably due to the water circulation. Like I stated, the sump runs several times a day all winter.

One idea I had was to dig a few feet from the pond, remove the end and replace it with a pipe with holes, extended into the pond. Not sure if laying that kind of pipe in the sedement would hold up over time if it is not buried in aggregate.

Any thoughts would be appreciated?

RE: Sump Pump Drainage in Winter

If you put a three to four foot pipe in the pond with 1/4 holes in it, the water pressure generated by the pump should keep most of them open. this would definitely help. don't forget to cap the end of the pipe so the water is forced out of the holes. You may want to wrap the pipe in a geo-textile to keep the silt from entering the pipe and plugging the holes. Then you could just put your aggregate on the ice this winter and come spring, Mother Nature wil place your aggregate for you.  this is much easier than trying to place the rock while the water is not frozen.

RE: Sump Pump Drainage in Winter

Thanks for the advice. I think I will go with the pipe. I never would have put an end cap on, so thanks for the tip!


RE: Sump Pump Drainage in Winter

In theory, it should work provided that the water is running continuously, the length of pipe exposed to the surface is not too long, a minimum velocity of 300 mm/s (1'/s) can be maintained and ensure that the discarge point cannot mound with ice.  I am assuming that the water is at least 1.5 C or warmer at the start.  The problem is that the colder the ambient tempurature outside the pipe, the quicker the water will cool.  Moving water does not lose heat as fast, but recall in pipe flow that the velocity of the fluid slows near the pipe wall.  When exposed to freezing temperatures, this slower water will freeze, regardless of heat.  If the velocity is too slow, the process will continue in stages until a very tiny appurature is left in the pipe.  Once this happens, it is a matter of time before the water will freeze completely.  Assuming temperatures in excess of -15 c, I do not advise placing a pipe on the surface unprotected.  If it is possible, I suggest placing some styrofoam boad insulation on top of the pipe with a bit of earth to keep it in place.  The insulation will dramatically slow the heat loss from the ground, and help to retain heat in the water pipe.  If that is not possible, then I would mound some "fluffy" organic soil (peat, mulch, straw) on top of the pipe with some kind of waterproof cover.  Once the soil gets wet and freezes, thermal retention is gone as well.  I hope this helps.   

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