What a High Water Table Means for You

Wednesday, June 16th, 2021 by Amanda Waldmann


What a High Water Table Means for You - Image 1

If you live near one of Michigan’s many inland lakes, or even one of the Great Lakes, you’ve probably heard mentions of the water table - likely around a time when there’s been some flooding. But what is the water table, and what does it mean for you?

 

First off, the water table isn’t a tangible “thing” you can easily see. It’s a term that explains the level of water normally present in the soil. Everything below that level is saturated. If you have a low water table, more of the soil around you is dry. If you have a high water table, more of your soil is normally saturated; that’s why high water tables are common around bodies of water. 

 

So why does that matter?

 

Picture two 8 ounce measuring cups. Or, if you feel like doing a science experiment, go get them. 

  • One represents a low water table, so it has two ounces of water in it. 
  • One represents a high water table, so it has seven ounces of water in it. 
  • One day it rains - add two ounces of water to each cup. 

 

Both cups had the same amount of water added, but one is now overflowing.

 

This is what happens when it rains in high water table areas; the soil can only absorb a fixed amount of moisture, and since it already has so much to start, flooding occurs. And during floods, water moves to a lower pressure area, even if that means moving right through your foundation walls and into your basement or crawl space.

 

The high water table is why you see more flooding in the areas around lakes, and why it’s especially important to keep an eye on your basement or crawl space. Regularly checking for signs of moisture (stains on walls, musty smells, a general damp feeling) during and after rain will help you catch the problem before it gets bad.

 

There’s absolutely nothing you can do about the water table, or the rain, but you can protect your home. Call us to schedule your free inspection and talk about what we can do to keep your home dry and safe.

 

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Ayers Basement Systems
2505 S. Waverly Hwy
Lansing, MI 48911
1-517-731-0784
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