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Basement Drainage Issue

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Hey all,

New to the forum, not an inspector. I'm a home owner with some water drainage issues. This place seems to have the most knowledgeable answers regarding this area so i'm hoping someone can help me.

I have a door in my basement that was installed before I bought the house. They blasted away part of the 4 ft tall foundation to put the door in. It opens to a 10 foot curved walkway that has 2 retaining walls on either side and leads to the backyard.

I have a very small plot of .12 acres. I live on a small 'island' in Western, MA, so my water table is less than 1 foot below my footing.

Here's how I know that.

During the thaw of last year (among other issues) I noticed that water was coming in from under the bottom of the door and getting into the (finished) basement. I went outside and shoveled away some of the landscape rock that's on the ground in that walk way and put a utility pump there to suck away the water from the foundation.

So, this summer I called in 2 drainage engineers (as I wanted a couple opinions) and they both told me that I should dig down right at the bottom of the door and about 3 feet away from the door (into the walkway) and the entire width of the door. They said I should do that until about a 10 inches beneath my footer. Then fill it up with 2 inch stone. The idea was that the water would drain easily through the stone and go underneath the house and reach my sump pump which is right near the door.


My house sits almost on the water table (as I found when I dug this hole out and couldn't go more than 10 inches below the footing due to it just filling up with ground water). Could this remedy introduce other issues? If that gets close to full with water and freezes will it push my retaining wall out of whack? Or add additional strain on my foundation?

I was thinking of coutersinking a bucket into pit of rock with the top of the bucket flush with the ground there and covering it with a big patio block. This way if water seems to get close to the top I can just put my utility pump in there and pump it away before it gets to the bottom of the door. But in winter the water will more than likely be frozen, so that's only a seasonal fix.

Thoughts on all this. Did I do the right thing? Should I counter sink the bucket? Any ideas on how to get water away in the winter?

Thanks for any and all help!!!

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