How to Install an Outdoor Sump Well for Drainage and Irrigation

Houses in low-lying areas are subject to basement flooding.
Installing a sump well for subground level patios helps prevent flooding.Installing a sump well for subground level patios helps prevent flooding.
When the house is on a slab and there is no basement, the flooding ends up in the yard. You can get rid of this excess water by installing a sump pump, and then distribute the water to other areas. In fact, it is possible to use this water for irrigation by redirecting it to your garden. In order to install a system such as this, you will need to redirect the excess water to a storage facility, and then install utility pumps to distribute the water when the time comes that you need it. A setup such as this is useful when there are rainy and dry periods.

Step 1

Determine the location where you will install the sump pump and well. The idea is to install the unit where the most water collects. If the installation location is concrete, you must break the concrete into pieces using the jackhammer. Dig a hole deep enough to handle the sump well and pump. Dig an additional 2 inches deeper than the actual depth because you will be adding gravel to the hole. When you install the well, it is a good idea to have it slightly higher than the top of the hole to allow for a layer of concrete.

Step 2

Drill a series of very small holes into the bottom of the sump well using a drill and a small drill bit. Determine which of the holes you will cut out for drainage pipe connection. The well has holes pre-stamped into it and the one you cut out will vary depending on the actual depth as well as the route the drainage pipe will take. Drill a starter hole using the drill and a drill bit, then cut the remainder out using a jigsaw. Set the drain well into the hole. Fill in the hole around the drain well using gravel.

Step 3

Dig a trench from the drain well to the location where you will pump the excess water. The trench should decline slightly from the drain well to assist in draining the water from the well to the distribution or storage area. Lightly sand the outer edges of the PVC pipe and the inner edges of the PVC fittings just enough to make them rough. Coat the edges of the PVC pipe and the inner perimeter of the PVC fittings with PVC primer. Allow the primer to dry for one minute. Coat the fittings and pipe with PVC glue as you use them, and fit the pieces together following the route of your drain line.

Step 4

Install the sump pump of your choice. You must make sure that the cord is long enough to reach an electrical outlet. Install conduit to protect the wiring on the outside. You can use 2-inch PVC pipe for this purpose, and you can bury it so that it is not lying on top of the ground. Install the grate over the drain well. Mix the concrete according to manufacturer instructions for the type you buy, and pour it around the outer perimeter of the drain well installation.

Step 5

Dig the hole for the storage container where you will pump the water. The depth of the hole will depend on the size of the drum. The hole should be deep enough to hold the storage container, with about 4 inches of gravel beneath it and wide enough to place gravel around the drum. This will prevent the water from building up around the drum and deteriorating it. Place 4 inches of gravel in the hole and then install the storage container. Connect the drainpipe to the storage container from the sump well. Place gravel over the trench and fill in the remaining with dirt to cover the gravel.

Step 6

Install an auxiliary pump in the area where you put the storage drum. Connect the pump to the storage drum. The pump will draw water from the storage container to the irrigation lines and distribute it according to your needs. The distribution line at the other end of the auxiliary pump should be flexible, such as a garden hose, so you can easily direct the water where you need it. Fill in the area over the storage drum with gravel and then cover the remaining space using the dirt left from digging the holes.

Things You Will Need

  • Jackhammer
  • Shovel
  • Sump well
  • Drill
  • Drill bit set
  • Jigsaw
  • Drainage grate
  • Gravel
  • Sandpaper
  • PVC pipe
  • PVC fittings
  • PVC primer
  • PVC glue
  • Conduit
  • Concrete mix
  • Storage drum

Tip

  • You must check the building code rules for your area to make the installation follows guidelines as set forth by your jurisdiction.

About the Author

John Rose has been writing professionally since 1981. Now contributing to various online publications, he specializes in auto repair, home maintenance and similar topics. Rose studied English at Frostburg State University.