Poor Michael. He's spent his evenings for almost the last week and his afternoons over the weekend trying to conquer our sump pump drainage system. At first he thought it was a simple leak in the pump, but every time he fixed something he found another problem. By last evening he had the entire ditch dug up across the front yard! He discovered some obstructions, but his biggest problem was that the corner turn just below the side walk was several inches lower that the far end of the drain!
He and Rachael dug out and had no success with lowering the far end-it was getting so it was too deep for the drain hole. Finally they decided to replace the pipe, which wasn't really broken up but did have some cracks in it, and raise the low corner section. So they have all the pipe and the corner joint replaced and part of it refilled. Now all they have to do is buy a couple loads of topsoil and cover the still exposed corner, which is now the right level, but sitting almost on top of the ground.
Fortunately there was a low spot in the yard at that point (probably part of the reason it was low there.) Hopefully they will be able to get it finiahed off with no more headaches.
Oh yeah--the cause of all that mess AND the subsequent exposure of the messed up drain was that the drainage pvc under the sidewalk had been filled with concrete along about a 2 foot length when they raised a tilted section by forcing cement between the slab and the substrate. A good idea, but NOT if you drill into the drain pipe. The one good thing-none of this happened in the middle of winter!