Using Sump pit and pump for lawn irrigation

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by clockwoo, May 17, 2007.

  1. clockwoo

    clockwoo New Member

    May 17, 2007
    Water rates and enviromental awareness have me wondering if I can re-direct my current sump pump discharge from the storm drain to my lawn irrigation system. I have read where people will pump to a cistern and then use a pump from the cistern to their lawn irrigation system, I am wondering if I can use the water in my sump pit the same way and by pass the cistern. I am concerned about pressure to irrigation system, do I need a filter?, can I have multiple pumps in the sump pit?, I still need sump pump protection during extreme wet conditions. Any suggestions, designs, recommendations, or comments are welcome. Thanks
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    1. Yes, you can pump the water from the sump to the lawn.
    2. You shouldn't need to filter it if you have a good sump.
    3. When you have the most water in the sump, you won't need to irrigate.
    4. A sump pump will not provide enough pressure for a sprinkler system.
    5. You can put an additional pump in the sump. You could use a shallow well jet pump and just drop the suction pipe with foot valve in the sump.
    6. You will have to protect the pump by using a float switch to operate it.
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  4. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    If yr pumping water out of the ground, the last thing you want to do is put it right back into the ground. A better way is to pump into a cistern until it's full and then have the overflow channelled away from the house - far away if possible.

    An even better way is to channel your downspouts AND your sump into a cistern or rain barrel.

    You only release the water from the cistern on a dry day. The best way to use the stored water is for drip irrigation or a soaker hose around flowers/plants/trees. Those systems don't require much pressure and require much less water than the lawn. If you use the cistern on the lawn, it'll empty fairly quickly, at which point you'll require a valve to switch to city water.
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

    Mar 23, 2007
    Metro NYC
    You don't nourish an extensive amount of landscaping with sump water. The cost of setting up enough storage would be excessive.
  6. Mr_Pike

    Mr_Pike New Member

    Jun 28, 2007
    It has been done, and is kinda spendy to get setup.

    You will definetly need a pressure rated pump, a sump pump is definetly not.

    Your irrigation system is likely designed for municipal water supply capacity, Something like 15 gallons a minute at 40+ lbs. Your sump will not likely provide this kind of water. The options are the systern for capacity storage like stated above, or design the irrigation system from scratch to operate on the GPM that the sump is capable of providing. You have to have one heck of a sump to pump 5 GPM constantly.

    Simple solution is to put a cheap spray type lawn sprinker on a hose. Something with little to no back pressure. Connect that to your output on your sump. Be advised that this will shorten the life of your sump pump, and should not be attempted with a cheap plastic pump.
  7. bbrian017

    bbrian017 New Member

    May 11, 2015
    I'm doing it right now, I plan to pump the water to a barrel system probably 100 gallons (two barrels), and have an outflow for excess water under ground into the ditch. I will use socker hoses as mentioned above and let gravity handle the distribution of the water, I will also have inside PVC to ABS valves so in the winter months I can switch back to my underground system direct to ditch. Facebook-20150511-103107.jpg
    flapper likes this.
  8. bbrian017

    bbrian017 New Member

    May 11, 2015
    Here is an update for the barrel system, it's working fantastic.... my pump runs every 17 minutes even after the last 6 days without rain. Thankfully I'm below the water table.

    Attached Files:

    flapper likes this.
  9. wodasci

    wodasci New Member

    Feb 20, 2016
    West Bloomfield, Michigan

    If you have high water tables and would like to use your sump water for irrigation and home water needs, check out an innovative new system to do this without a cistern at
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