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Sump Pump, Weeping Tile and Downspout (Disconnect and Discharge)

Image of basement flooding

Be Proactive and Reduce Your Risk

Disconnect Downspouts and Weeping Tiles

Downspouts should not be buried into the ground, should not be connected into the weeping tile system and should not be connected to your sanitary private drain connection (PDC).  Similarly, your weeping tiles should not connect to your sanitary PDC.  The City is trying to reduce the amount of storm water that is making its way into the sanitary sewer system.

Downspout Disconnect

If your downspouts go into the ground you should disconnect them and revise them to allow the water draining from your roof to drain ONTO the ground, not INTO the ground.

Do it yourself instructions:Downspout extension. Splash pad not shown.

  1. Cut the downspout above where it enters the ground and discard the piece you cut off.
  2. Put a cap on the pipe that goes into the ground. Rubber caps can be purchased at your local hardware store, in different sizes. Secure the cap with a simple hose clamp. By capping this securely, you prevent water and animals from getting into the pipe that leads into the ground.
  3. Install a flexible downspout extension piece at the end of the downspout. The piece of flexible pipe should be attached to the downspout with 2 screws to ensure that it doesn’t fall off. It is recommended that the outlet of the flexible pipe be at least 1.8m (6 feet) away from the foundation of your house. It is also recommended to put a splash pad at the end of the extension (not shown in the photo).

Another option is to direct your downspout into a rain barrel.  Rain barrels are a fantastic way to collect rain water and then use the water to refresh your gardens.  If you do choose to use a rain barrel ensure the overflow hose is directed onto your lawn, away from the building and it does not negatively impact your neighbours property.

Weeping Tile Disconnect

If you disconnect your weeping tile from the sanitary sewer system and connect it to a sump pit with a sump pump,  you would be helping the sanitary sewer system by not adding all that extra rainwater.  It is also noted that disconnecting the weeping tiles from the sanitary sewer system allows you to add a backwater valve which further protects your home from a back-up.

Disconnecting your weeping tile from the sanitary sewer system is not a do-it-yourself project.  Talk to a qualified plumber or drainage specialist to determine the scope of the project and how much it will cost.  We also have a sump pump grant program which you may be eligible for.

Sump Pump Discharge

Weeping tiles collect the water that has made its way into the ground around the foundation of your house.  Some weeping tiles are connected to a sump pit.  When the sump pit fills with water and reaches a predetermined level, the sump pump turns on and discharges the groundwater either directly into the storm sewer system or onto the yard, away from the foundation.

If your sump pump discharges to the yard, there are a few things to consider:

  1. Similar to downspouts from your eaves trough, the sump pump discharge should be directed away from your house, preferably 1.8 meters (6 feet) from the wall of the house to a grassed area.
  2. Ensure that the lot grading around the house is sloped away from the home to decrease the risk of the discharge water making its way back into the weeping tile system or directly into the basement.
  3. Keep in mind that the discharge can not negatively impact neighbouring properties.

Icing on the driveway and sidewalk due to sump pump dischargeIcing

Avoid discharging your sump pump to the sidewalk or driveway. During the winter months the sump pump can still discharge water from the ground. When the water makes its way to the sidewalk and freezes there is a risk of slipping for both pedestrians and vehicles.


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