We’re in a large subdivision, on a street of detached houses. Our backyard is always a bit soggy - drainage isn’t great, heavy rains leave parts of it fairly swampy, and we finally found out, last year, just where our sump pump outflow goes: it goes into an underground pipe, that simply stops underground about 10 feet away from the house.
We also have an outside stairway, with a drain in the bottom that drains into the sump. It can get clogged with leaves, which allows the stairway to fill (once, judging by leaf litter, it was a foot or more deep). Needless to say, this causes problems. We thought it was taken care of by having a better leaf barrier, but this Saturday even that was overwhelmed by the torrential rains - the back yard was just too soaked and apparently water was coming in over the top of the stairwell. Fortunately, we were on the lookout and kept the worst of it out by clearing the drain (outside) and heavy use of the shop vac inside. The carpet got slightly damp but just within a couple inches of the linoleum we have just inside the door.
We had an expert come out last year who suggested that the permanent solution to the drain issue is to jackhammer a much larger drain, put a separate sump pump just inside that door, that would go up through the wall and out the side of the house, then run a drain underground toward the front, to soak into the front lawn and eventually make its way to the storm drain. The existing sump would remain (it’s on the other side of the door), but they would run a different drain line around the other side of the house, and run THAT toward the front as well. One issue with the second sump: if power goes out. We put a water-backup sump on the main house sump pump, but if power goes out, this new one wouldn’t have that, and there’s no good way to put one in there without being hideous (it would be in the finished living area).
Our next door neigbors - on both sides - have their sump output running underground and through the curb (there are pipe outlets in the curb), but supposedly that’s no longer up to code. I have a call in to the county to verify that.
We will have the gutters checked and cleaned out - that might have contributed to the spillage. Another suggestion we’ve had is to put an awning or roof extension over the stairwell - that might be prohibitively expensive and/or prohibited by the HOA (awnings are permitted but most be retractable and it’s more targeted at covering porches, for example).
Having the sump output routed to the front seems needed regardless - I’m wondering if there are some landscaping tricks we can implement to take advantage of the drainage. I’m concerned that having the water outlet to the front will just move the problem; if we had plantings there, perhaps, maybe that would suck up some of the excess water. One issue though is that it’s in a fairly narrow strip of land (less than 20 feet, maybe less than 15) between our driveway and the neighbor’s.