How to Fill in a Well Pit
LESLIE: Alright. John in Michigan is on the line with a water question. What can we do for you today?
JOHN: Well, I have an older house that has a well pit sticking out underneath the house.
JOHN: And I want to abandon that because it’s letting water into the basement.
TOM: Hmm. OK.
JOHN: So I want to know, what do I have to deal with – how would I go about demolishing that old well pit and still putting up a new basement wall?
TOM: Is this a wide well? Like 3 feet wide, so many feet deep?
JOHN: Yes. It’s a well pit that’s probably 3½-foot wide by 3-foot deep or so.
TOM: Oh, OK. Well, then I would just fill it up. I would fill it up with stone first. Does it have a concrete lip that comes above the surface?
JOHN: No, it’s flush with the surface and the basement wall is non-existent at this point.
TOM: Hmm. It’s flush?
JOHN: It goes right into the well pit where the pump and stuff used to be.
TOM: Used to sit? Yeah.
JOHN: I have city water now so we don’t have …
TOM: It’s really – this is really just a recessed area where the well equipment is, right? We’re not talking about – it’s only 3 feet deep; you’re obviously not pumping water from 3 feet deep.
But in this case, what I would do is I’d just fill that in with stone right up to the top. But if you see water that collects in there, what you’re seeing is that’s the first place the water collects. But you can eliminate that, if it’s happening during heavy rain, by taking a look outside the house and managing the exterior drainage conditions: making sure that the gutters are clean and free-flowing, making sure the soil slopes away from the walls.
The water gets in there below the soil. You’re seeing it because that’s the lowest spot but that’s not causing the basement to flood; that’s just evidence of the flooding.
JOHN: Right. OK. Well, thanks. Sounds great.
TOM: You’re welcome, John. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.