Where to Discharge Sump Pump in Winter

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Jun 23, 2014
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Last Winter I moved to South Dakota, I live in a flat region with lots of surface ground water and water flowing into my sump pit. Think prairie potholes and large flat expanses of land with no where for the water to go...

The sump runs all the time, most of the winter and constantly in the summer. In summer right after a rain it cycles every 25 seconds, turns on for 9 seconds then off for 16 seconds. It discharges out to front of house, I have two options outside with valves. I can run it to my yard off to the side, which I added a long extension to get it away from the house or I can run it to the ditch, which then floods and we can't mow it. I usually alternate all summer so we can mow.

The previous owner told me in the winter to go in basement and close the valve on sump drain line going outside and open a valve sending it to the septic tank. He said the lines outside will freeze and you need to drain it to septic.

Right now it is cycling every 2.5 minutes and runs for 9 seconds. Later in the winter it will slow to every 20 or 30 minutes. It is a lot of water going to septic but I see no other option if the outside lines freeze.



Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2017
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North Reading, Mass.
My first thought was, what harm can it do? It just goes out to the leaching field from the tank.
Then I was thinking well depending the age and size of the leaching field, it could have a maximum leach rate, which could have a negative impact on your septic tank and normal waste flows from your house. e.g.-Potential of backing up.
Then it occurred to me, if you have such a ground water problem, it must already be impacting your leaching field. Or do you have a mound type leaching field?

Do you have a generator in case you lose power?

I would look into having my entire house raised.:eek: