How to Use a Pump for Yard Drainage

Jackie Johnson

Yard flooding can be a problem, especially after a rapid snow melt or heavy rain. Removing water from a yard can help dry it up, prevent basement floods and minimize the spread of water-borne disease. Standing water in warm weather breeds mosquitoes and bacteria.

Many communities have stormwater retention basins that collect runoff.

Draining the water as fast as possible creates a safer and healthier environment for people and animals.

  1. Check with your local water and sewer provider. Laws may prohibit draining standing water in the yard into the street because of traffic problems the water might cause as a result of deep water or freezing. The community wastewater treatment plant may also have regulations about the types of water that can be discharged.

  2. Set up a pump or sump pump at the lowest point in the yard if draining the water into the street or the nearest sewer drain is legal in your community. Hook up a properly sized hose to the pump and place the end of the hose in the drain or the street. Use your sewer clean-out drain if applicable.

  3. Move the plug and the extension cord well away from the water to avoid electrical shorts and blown circuit breakers if you are using an electric pump. Put the connecting ends of the plugs on a chair or a table. If the weather is windy, tape the cords to the surface of the object they rest on. If the pump is gas-operated, make sure the tank has enough fuel to drain the yard.

  4. Turn on the pump and make sure that the water begins to flow. The water flowing through the pump keeps it cool. Station someone at the other end of the hose to either call or give you a signal once the hose starts to flow.

  5. Check the pump and the depth of the water frequently. Shut it off once the water is drained. If the water is still draining at night, turn the pump off. Using an unmonitored pump overnight can create problems if the water runs out.

  6. Tip

    If flooding in your area is infrequent, contact equipment rental providers to see if you can rent a pump to drain your yard.


    Do not drain the excess water into a septic tank. It could fill it and cause sewage to come up through the drains in the home or building.