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How to determine if basement water is a natural source or city water

Joseph Coupal - Monday, December 14, 2020

So, you have a basement water problem and you don't know where the water is coming from. This tip explains how to determine if it's naturally occurring water or if it's from a city source.

Narrator: And now we have The Crackman answering a listener inquiry. Alex in Worcester writes, I’ve got water in my basement, how do I know if it’s natural groundwater or if it’s coming from a city water source?

Rich: Well the first thing we want to do is ask, “when is it leaking”? Is it leaking all the time, or is it just during the rains or snow melts? If it’s just during the rains and snow melts, it’s probably not city water. If it’s leaking when it’s dry out, no rain in the area of the water meter on that side of the house, it’s a good chance it could be from the water pipe that’s broken on the outside.

So how do you determine if it is city water? You would take a clean sponge and a clean container, gather that water up right away, and bring it down to the town water department. And

I say “right away” because that water has chlorine and fluoride in it, and you don’t want it to evaporate. So, they can test it for chlorine or fluoride. If it has either one of those, you know that it’s town water. And then sorry to say it’s a broken pipe. That should be repaired on the outside of the house. In most towns, it’s up to the property owner to pay for that repair.

Narrator: Thanks Rich for clarifying how to determine whether your basement water is from a natural source or town water.


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