For a little more than 3 years, we've been battling water intrusion in the church basement when we experience heavy rainfalls. The first occurrence was Labor Day 2017. Since that time, we have experienced various degrees of flooding over a dozen times. Sometimes the water would just be contained to the concrete areas at the south end of the basement, but numerous times the carpet was wet. We fought hard to extract the water, and dry the rooms with fans and dehumidifiers.
Over the past 3 years, we have consulted with various experts in plumbing, waterproofing, etc. We've sent cameras into every possible sewer line in and around the building. We have excavated the south wall and waterproofed and installed new drain tiles. We have opened up the floor and installed a temporary sump pump in the area where the water comes in. We've learned that the church was built on top of an abandoned 42" sewer line. We built a bulkhead to isolate this abandoned line from the adjacent active line. None of these things have solved the flooding problem, but we've eliminated a lot of possibilities!
On the afternoon of July 10, heavy thunderstorms rolled through. The basement flooded, and we lost power for over 24 hours. With no power, the sump pump didn't run, and we could not make a good assessment of the space in the dark, nor start the drying process. There was less than an inch of water, but since it sat for about 36 hours, we had to cut out some drywall. Then in the early morning hours of August 28, we took on more water than ever. Nearly every inch of the basement had some water. We made the decision to remove all carpeting. It was just getting to be too expensive to try to save the carpet, which is over 20 years old. We rented a big dumpster, and about a dozen guys volunteered after church on August 30, and all carpet was removed within 2 hours. I'm happy to report that the new kitchen was not damaged.
The Board of Resources stepped up the pace of investigating, and along with some referrals from the architect we have been working with on Renewing OS projects, we have narrowed down the issue further. Bill Walton stepped in, and looked through original blueprints, mapped out sewer and drain tile lines, and spent hours communicating with the sewer contractors. At long last, we think we have it narrowed down. The proposed solution will require some digging, which we hope can begin in the next week. It's been a frustrating 3 years, and for the foreseeable future, the lower level is unusable, with the exception of the kitchen. As activities begin to restart in the coming months, we will navigate a way to make them happen until such time as the basement is restored. Thanks to all who have inquired, and offered their support. We WILL figure this out, and hopefully very soon!
Director of Operations
Here is a video from water entering on September 1 to give you an understanding of why we are so glad that we may be nearing a conclusion to this problem.