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 White substance in my drain tile and sump basin; burned through 4 sumps already
Author: cboucher (MI)

Hello plumbing experts!

I just built a house in michigan and have been living there for a few months now but over the course of the build, a white substance was building up in my sump basin as well as my sump pumps ultimately causing them to fail; coating the pumps in about a 1/4" of this substance each time.

I recently had my sump basin cleaned out and there was 4 INCHES of this stuff collecting at the bottom of the pit. I have bricks down there to elevate the pump and they were covered! The drain pipe that discharged into the basin was also cleaned out as far as the wet vac pipe could go.

Since then, this substance has made its way back in to the basin with a thin layer starting to collect around the sides and bottom of the basin. i looked into the drain tile pipe, and this substance is definitely being carried by the water in to the pump again.

Every plumber I talk to are baffled by this and never seen anything like it. I live in a new sub with all new houses and none of the neighbors have this issue.

My basement is built on a nice base of 1x3 crushed concrete since i hit A LOT of organic soil. I noticed on old satellite imagery, a pond was on my lot about 20 something years ago smack dab where my basement is.

Does anyone have any idea what's going on here??!!

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 Re: White substance in my drain tile and sump basin; burned through 4 sumps already
Author: steve (CA)

Sounds like efflorescence. Have the water tested and let the lab know what issue you are having. Excessive ground water and the crushed concrete likely to be the cause.

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 Re: White substance in my drain tile and sump basin; burned through 4 sumps already
Author: DaveMill (CA)

>a white substance was building up in my sump basin

"White substance" could be anything from milk to cocaine to crushed marble. Can you be more descriptive? Photos would help.

Steve mentioned efflorescence, which typically appears on damp masonry and concrete. In my (limited) experience, that leeches out rather slowly, whereas you described 4 inches of buildup in the bottom of a pit after just a few months. Still, this might er possible if the pit is collecting water from a large basin of wet, crushed concrete.

Google has a list of water testing labs in Michigan:

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