LESLIE: Now we’re going to head south to North Carolina where Phyllis is experiencing some unusual water pouring out of her backyard. What’s going on?
PHYLLIS: When we have a strong downpour of rain, we have water that gushes out of holes in the backyard. These holes are created only when we have a strong downpour and I’m not really sure what’s going on or how to fix it or who to blame.
LESLIE: Do your downspouts from your gutter system, do they go into some sort of flexible pipe that’s buried underground?
PHYLLIS: No. Only a couple of them do. This house was actually built probably in 1952 and we had the gutters on them but it’s only two that really go into pipes underneath the ground; the rest just sort of run off.
TOM: Well, two are enough. Do we know where these pipes are going?
PHYLLIS: Do I – no.
LESLIE: Yeah, maybe where the end where the water is gushing up is the end of that pipe that’s buried from your downspout.
TOM: Yeah, that’s – I have a strong suspicion there because certainly if you have a lot of rain, your water will rise; but if you get a gusher, there’s got to be some pressure behind it. If it only happens when it rains, then it’s most likely that underground pipe.
What you might want to do is you can take a garden hose when it’s dry and fill that downspout up with water and see if it seems to come up in that area of the lawn where you see the gusher and then you’ll have your answer.
PHYLLIS: So the remedy is what; to dig it up and then …?
TOM: Well, here’s another thing that you can do if you don’t want to dig it up. What you could do is you could abandon it; in other words, just disconnect the downspout so it’s not going underground and run it out, at least temporarily – get a piece of leader material. Run it out temporarily over the ground. Just run it out a few feet and then wait a few rainstorms and see what happens. If you don’t see it gushing up anymore, then we know the solution to the problem is to clean out that drainpipe.
PHYLLIS: Oh. OK, we can do that.
TOM: Alright, Phyllis.
PHYLLIS: Why, thank you.
TOM: Alright, Phyllis. Good luck with that project.
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