Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Downspouts in Detroit Questions Previous Next
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Ordinary
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Username: Ordinary

Post Number: 205
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 8:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

At my mom's house in Detroit, the downspouts go directly into some type of pipe (storm drain crock?) next to the house. I think that's causing dampness in her basement when it rains. Could that be?
If so, I want to take the downspouts out of those crocks, cap the crocks and run the downspouts out onto the lawn. If we were to sell the house in the future, would we have to rehook them into the crocks? What are the rules regarding this?
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 3168
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 8:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I doubt if it's legal to use those today. Those generally led into the house's sewer system, and many older Detroit houses still have them. Rain water from downspouts today should be applied to the lawn and dissipated that way--not through the sewers.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 1236
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 8:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Those are illegal as they are tied into the sanitary storm sewer. I disconnected mine and capped them by tie-ing plastic grocery bags to the top, pushing them down, then covering the tops with a small amount of quickcrete.
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Rrl
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Username: Rrl

Post Number: 803
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 8:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LY is correct; older homes don't have split sanitary & storm sewer systems. Quite a few cities have actually mandated the disconnection and "splashing" of downspouts onto lawns to help alleviate the deluge of sewer system water during heavy downpours.
If the old clay tile UG conductors are cracked, it very well could be leading to dampness in the basement. Disconnecting them should help, just make sure that you redirect them far enough away from the house in an area that has good positive drainage away from the foundation, use splash-blocks if you're concerned of soils from beds being washed out.
You won't have to reconnect them if the house is sold. (a dry basement is preferrable to splashed downspouts).
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 827
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 8:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In the old days, storm water and sanitary waste were both carried away for treatment via the "combined" sewer system. However, during a heavy downpour, the "combined" system would overload the wastewater treatment plants and cause them to have to dump untreated sewerage along with the storm water directly into the lakes and rivers.

Since the 1960's, cities have been outlawing downspout connections into the "combined" systems and requiring that they discharge onto the ground.

Since then, separate storm and sanitary sewer systems have been built for new subdivisions. However, I believe much, if not all, of Detroit still uses the "combined" sewer system and all downspouts need to be disconnected from it. The downspout water need to be directed at least six feet away from the house before it contacts the ground to prevent dampness in the basement. If you already have dampness with the downspouts connected to the "combined" sewer system, disconnecting them might make the problem worse unless you direct the water at least six feet away from the house and your lawn/driveway has a good downward slope.
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Ordinary
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Username: Ordinary

Post Number: 206
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2007 - 12:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I made a post yesterday to say thanks to all of you for the information. I must have forgotten to click on the post button. Thanks again for the info.

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