Drainage 101

Protect Your Home Against Water Damage.



It’s important to protect your home from basement flooding because no matter where you live, your home is at risk of basement flooding. Why?

Heavy rainstorms that fall over short periods of time can overwhelm city sewer systems. Overloaded sewers can back up through house sewer lines and flow into basements that aren’t protected. Even if you or your neighbourhood have never experienced problems with basement flooding, your home can still be at risk. In heavy storms, the total amount of rainfall, and how fast it falls, can vary greatly from neighbourhood to neighbourhood across the city.

What can be done to protect your home?

Install a backwater valve and sump pit drainage system. Check and maintain your backwater valve and sump pit drainage system regularly. Improve drainage around your house

What is a back water valve?

A backwater valve is a device that prevents sewage in an overloaded main sewer line from backing up into your basement.

The valve automatically closes if sewage backs up from the main sewer.

A properly installed backwater valve must be placed so that sewage backup is stopped and does not come out through other outlets in your basement, such as sinks, toilets, showers and laundry tubs.

With a backwater valve alone, weeping tiles connected to the sewer line can’t drain when the backwater valve closes, causing water to overflow into your basement from the floor drain.

What is a sump pump?

A sump pit drainage system includes a sump pit, a sump pump and a pump discharge pipe.

The sump pit, set into the basement floor, collects water from the weeping tiles around your basement.

The pump pushes the water outside your house through the discharge pipe.

Place your sump pump discharge pipe so that it drains somewhere onto your property where water can be absorbed, such as your lawn or flowerbed.

Do not allow water from your sump pump to drain directly onto neighbouring properties, lanes, sidewalks, boulevards, streets or into your home’s floor drain or plumbing drainage system because this is illegal.


Clean the pit each year after freeze-up. Weeping tile drainage may carry small amounts of soil, sand and debris into the pit from around your basement.

Some water may remain in the pit and cause a musty smell if it sits for a long time. If so, you can flush the pit by adding fresh water until the pump removes the stale water.

Check and test your pump each spring before the rainy season begins, and before you leave your house for a long time. Pour water into the pit to trigger the pump to operate.

Remove and thoroughly clean the pump at least once a year. Disconnect the pump from the power source before you handle or clean it.

Check the pit every so often to ensure it is free of debris. Most pumps have a screen that covers the water intake. You must keep this screen clean.

Check and clean your catch basin / floor drain trap.

Sump pump discharge pipe

Check the place where the discharge pipe leaves the house. If the pipe is discharging right against the basement wall, the water will drain down into the weeping tiles and continue to recycle through the system.

Check the discharge point regularly to make sure that nothing is blocking the flow.


Build up the ground around your house so that water flows away from your basement walls. Also examine sidewalks, patios, decks, and driveways. These can settle over time and cause water to drain back towards your basement walls.

Extend downspouts so that water flows away from your house and doesn’t pool next to the basement walls or basement windows. If your downspouts are connected to your home’s sewer system, disconnect them.

Clean debris from eavestroughs regularly. If they overflow even when clean, replace them with larger size eavestroughs and downspouts.

Proper drainage helps to reduce the amount of water flowing to your home’s sewer system and to the main sewer system, and lessen the risk of sewer backup reduce water seepage into your home through basement windows and cracks in your basement walls

Keep the moisture content of the soil around and under your house stable to reduce the chances of cracking and shifting. If water pools next to your basement, it can make its way to the footings that support the basement walls. The increased moisture may cause the soil to swell and the footings to heave.

Extend the life of your sump pump by reducing the amount of work it has to do

Be sure your drainage improvements do not cause drainage problems for your neighbour or affect the grading near the property line.

Contact Us

Serving Greater Victoria
Phone: 250-888-0388
or send a message.


Copyright Rainman Drainage & Contracting 2019

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