Where Should My Sump Pump Drain To?

Most people have no idea what a sump pump drain is. If you’re looking to purchase a home with a basement, it’s imperative to learn what it is and what it does. For those who don’t know what a sump pump is, its purpose is to move excess water away from your home.

Your sump pump should drain away from your home and other problematic areas, such as paved surfaces and sewers. The exact drainage setup of your sump pump will vary depending on the state you live in and guidelines of your homeowner’s association, among other factors.

Where Should My Sump Pump Drain To

In this article, we’ll discuss where your sump pump water should drain and the recommended discharge point for the water. Property damage is a stressful and expensive issue to face. Read on to learn how to place your sump pump in a way that is safe for your home and property.

Drain Your Sump Pump Away From Your House

To protect your home from water damage over time, make sure your sump pump is draining in a location that’s a safe distance from your house.

When it comes to moving water away from your property, more distance is better.

You’ll want your sump pump’s discharge point to be at least 10 feet (3.05 m) away from your home’s foundation.

If you want to be extra cautious, 20 feet (6.10 m) is also a good option.

Extending the distance in this way can protect your home’s foundation from water damage.

READ: Does A Sump Pump Need a Perimeter Drain?

Choosing the Right Sump Pump

The distance of your sump pump is a vital element of keeping your property safe from water damage.

However, choosing the right sump pump also plays a role in protecting your property.

Choosing the wrong sump pump could lead to several issues, including erosion and foundation damage.

You may also have to replace the sump pump sooner and more frequently than expected.

So, when selecting a sump pump for your property, keep these four factors in mind:

  • Select the right float switch
  • Select the right horsepower. Horsepower is considered the most crucial factor when selecting a sump pump.
  • Select a backup sump pump system.
  • Select the right water alarm.

When it comes to sump pumps, bigger isn’t always better.

Sump pumps that are too large can cause more damage to your property.

If you’re unsure what the right fit is for your property, consulting an expert can help save you a lot of money down the road.

READ: The Pros And Cons Of Sump Pumps And French Drains

Rain Gardens Are an Eco-Friendly Discharge Option

As we mentioned above, you want sump pump water to move away from your home to prevent property damage.

Still, it can be difficult to find a safe location for the water to discharge.

If you’re looking for a greener and more environmentally friendly way to discharge sump pump water, then I have a great option for you.

A rain garden is an eco-friendly way to get the water away from your house, while allowing it to nourish any plants you may have.

Test Potential Locations Before Building a Rain Garden

A rain garden should be located at least 10 feet (3.05 m) away from your home and at the bottom of your lawn’s natural slope.

Before choosing a place for your rain garden, you can do a small test run by digging a hole 12 inches (30.48 cm) deep, filling it with water, and seeing if the water is gone in 24 hours.

If the water is gone, you’ve found a suitable spot for your rain garden.

If this setup sounds like something that will work on your property, you can find various tutorials online for constructing your own rain garden.

Consult With an Expert for Tailored Discharge Options

A rain garden is just one of the many options for your excess water.

Consulting with your sump pump installer is the best way to make these decisions.

They’ll be able to help you find the best spot to install the discharge spot, ensuring that the water flows away from any potential areas that could become damaged.

Where Shouldn’t Sump Pump Water Go?

Sump pump water shouldn’t go onto paved surfaces like driveways and sidewalks. These surfaces can break down when exposed to water for extended periods. Since the goal is to avoid property damage, you want to keep pump water as far away from your paved surfaces as possible.

Keep Your Sump Pump Drain Away From Septic Systems

If you have a septic tank system on your property, keep your sump pump drain away from it.

You’ll also want to avoid draining your water into your city’s sewer system.

Not only do some city ordinances forbid it, but it’s considered pollution and forces cities to dump untreated wastewater into rivers.

Sewer systems fill up daily with unwanted things, so please don’t contribute to that.

Be Aware of Neighboring Property

If you have rude neighbors, it might seem like a good idea to have the water drain onto their lot and have it become their problem.

However, draining your sump pump onto others’ property isn’t a good idea.

Besides it is common courtesy not to drain unwanted water onto your neighbor’s yard, doing so is against local law in some areas.

Should the excess water cause any issues for your neighbor, you could be held liable for the damages.

So, keep your sump pump water away from your neighbors.

The situation will be much safer that way, for all parties involved.


Your sump pump should drain the water away from your home, paved surfaces, and other areas susceptible to water damage.

Creating a rain garden is one safe and effective drainage method if you want a more eco-friendly and prettier option.

If you’re unsure what drainage option works best for you, consult a sump pump expert.

It’s crucial to keep in mind the laws of your city’s ordinance and be considerate of your neighbors, even the ones you don’t like.

Choose the best drainage option for you and your surroundings.

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Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.