The Water Table and What You Need to Know
Ask almost any homeowner and they’ll tell you one of their biggest fears is water.
Specifically water damage.
Most of them will say that most water damage or, even worse, flooding, shows up in the basement. Unwanted water enters the house from two possible sources: ground water, which is the rain or snow that falls and accumulates on a property, or a high water table. The water table is the depth at which the earth is permanently saturated with water.
Sump Pumps and Trenches
But a homeowner can’t change the water table. A complex system of trenches, pipes, and sump pumps is the only answer when this becomes a problem. Unscrupulous contractors have been known to take advantage of some homeowners' lack of knowledge of the water table to diagnose expensive cures for water damage or flooding. Some of these remedies could cost thousands of dollars and include unnecessarily excavating and/or hauling in gravel to build leach beds, which are trenches filled with gravel to disperse the water via ground absorption and evaporation.
Building Inspectors and Excavators
So what does the average person do to arm themselves with the necessary defenses to combat any possible water damage and/or flooding? First off, you should check with building inspectors and local excavators about any possible problems with the water table. After that, check with the neighbors on all four sides of your home to see if they’re having any troubles with wet basements. The water table should not vary greatly over the space of a few lots. If your house has a water damage or flooding problem while the homes around you do not, you can make a safe bet that the problem is with runoff surface water and not the water table.