Drained

The last week has proceeded well and of this afternoon I have finished installing a perimeter drain field.  All runs have been routed and tied into the deep pump-up sump.  I was lucky, about 40% of the pipe was above the gravel fill in the bottom of the pit and only had to be back filled with gravel.  Another 40% was dug into the granular layer and also went fairly quickly.  Only the final 20% had to be dug down into the virgin glacial till.

Here I thought I would never see that stuff again after I covered it over with gravel last November.  I wish now I had spent a little bit more time prepping the perimeter with Alfie last fall before starting the footings, but an extra day or so of digging now was not too bad. Carrying the gravel around the perimeter, two buckets at a time, was not fun but I got it done.  I had slung in extra gravel into the interior of the foundation before placing the floor, so at least I did not have to bring it down ladders as well. All together the system took me about 45 hours to install including installing the pipe, digging the trenches (including the deep one at the sump to drain the granular field), and back-filling with gravel. Quite a bit longer than I had hoped.  One key factor was the bag footing system, once again it was in the way and I had to be super careful when digging the trenches so that I did not damage the fabric.  I figured that this probably added about 25% of the time to the job. The other issue was the deep pipe invert into the sump.  The dug out hole kept collapsing, so I would have to regroup, change the plywood guards and re-dig. This added at least a day to the whole procedure. The final issue was that I had no storage capacity when digging the deep invert.  So I would have to run the pump, quickly pull it out and dig some more before bringing back the pump to evacuate more ground water.  Sure wish I had though of all of this last fall and dug it out with Alfie before slinging in the gravel!

Digging through virgin glacial till would have been easier with Alfie last fall, C'est la Vie

Digging through virgin glacial till would have been easier with Alfie last fall, C’est la Vie

Every couple of minutes, I would have to stop trenching and evacuate the water.

Every couple of minutes, I would have to stop trenching and evacuate the water.

Drain box for exterior walk up stairwell. Stanbdard practice is to dump bag of concrete in base to seal off.  I wanted to preserve as much of a setiment trap as possible, so I glued a concrete slab to bottom and then sealed joints with mortar.

Drain box for exterior walk up stairwell. Standard practice is to dump bag of concrete in base to seal off. I wanted to preserve as much of a sediment trap as possible, so I glued a concrete slab to bottom and then sealed joints with mortar.

Drain pipe is oriented with holes at 5:00 and 7:00 and bedded in at least 3" of gravel.  This prevents fines from entering pipe

Drain pipe is oriented with holes at 5:00 and 7:00 and bedded in at least 3″ of gravel. This prevents fines from entering pipe. Additional gravel will be added above pipe after inspection.

I used a rotary hammer drill and core bit to tie into the sump.  This produces a much cleaner hole that is easier to seal with grout.

I used a rotary hammer drill and core bit to tie into the sump. This produces a much cleaner hole that is easier to seal with grout.

All pipes tied into sump and joints grouted.

All pipes tied into sump and joints grouted. Notice the much deeper invert from the granular layer. This deeper circuit also services the drain box on the walk-up stairs.

Drain box installed at finished height of slab.

Drain box installed at finished height of slab.

Inside of drain box has dry fit 90º elbow.  This allows for removal during cleaning of line.  Elbow prevents floating debris from entering system.

Inside of drain box has dry fit 90º elbow. This allows for removal during cleaning of line. Elbow prevents floating debris from entering system. Extra outlet is grouted closed.

The sump itself will not be outfitted until much later in the build process.  I need to have the rough in electrical done in the dwelling before the sump pump and controls can be inspected.  In the meantime, I will just keep use my existing construction pit pump and move it to the sump interior.

On that note, I placed a spare pump in the sump early last week and connected to a garden house that Gail is now using to water the plants in her front yard. I also let Anna know (neighbour on other side) that I will be able to fill up her rain barrels when they go dry.  As of this last Monday, our watering restrictions stepped up a notch and all lawn watering is now banned, as well as pressure washing, car washing, rinsing of hardscapes, etc.  We can hand water plant and vegetable gardens only.  The next step will be an all out ban of using potable water for any non potable use including all landscaping/gardens, commercial car washes, and golf courses.  Should this occur, I will be in good shape to provide ground water to both my neighbours and could even look at filling up others barrels if they can get them to my yard.  Instead of a lemonade stand, I may set up a non-potable water stand and sell for $1 a bucket 🙂  Fortunately we did get some rain today, so hopefully, this will delay the final restriction stage a while longer.  But either way I am now ready with an endless supply of ground water should our dry weather continue.

I am using my deep well sump as a temporary cistern to provide ground water to neighbours for irrigation

I am using my deep well sump as a temporary cistern to provide ground water to neighbours for irrigation

Gail - watering her front garden with my captured ground water.

Gail – watering her front garden with my captured ground water.

I should have the drainage system inspected tomorrow and will start on installing the continuous exterior insulation onto the foundation walls. I also need to change out the blue tarp.  It was a freebie from Freecycle.org and although it does not have a lot of holes, the water is actually flowing right through the fabric, so parts of my deck on the north side are getting pretty wet.  I reconfigured the white tarp on Friday to better drain and it has been working well with everything nice and dry below.

Blackberry keeping an eye on progress and offering the odd suggestion.

Blackberry keeping an eye on progress and offering the odd suggestion.

He is much happier now that I have built his cat ladder right down to the basement floor.

He is much happier now that I have built his cat ladder right down to the basement floor.

Thanks for visiting.

“Your journey has molded you for the greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think that you’ve lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.” —Asha Tyson (born 1970) Writer, Public Speaker

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