After a summer of abnormally heavy rains across North America flooded countless basements, the city of Milwaukee, Minn. is trying out a new method of basement water proofing for its residents.
According to an August 27 Gizmodo article, Milwaukee’s administrators are hoping to turn the basements of its foreclosed homes into “stormwater management facilities” that act as receptacles for excess rainwater that would otherwise cause rampant basement cracks and leaks and require homeowners to spend thousands on foundation repair.
In the city of Milwaukee’s recently-released feasibility study for this unconventional basement waterproofing method, the walls of these so-called “BaseTerns” will act as temporary water storage tanks when a sewage system is overwhelmed. The walls of a BaseTern would receive a waterproofing to keep water in, with holes drilled in the basement’s floor so the water can seep in, according to Gizmodo.
“A pipe attached to the basement’s existing floor drain will allow the remainder of the water to flow slowly into the sewer system, while the water in the rain barrels will be used to irrigate the garden,” according to a Civil Engineering description of the BaseTern system.
Basement water leaks and floods may seem like just a nuisance to many homeowners, but if left they can cause water damage to a home’s foundation that costs thousands to repair. In fact, the typical foundation repair costs anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000, a major strain on the budget of any homeowner.
Milwaukee plans to convert one foreclosed basement into a BaseTern as a pilot case for this basement water proofing tactic. If it proves to be a success, these BaseTerns could soon be helping prevent basement leaks when it rains near you.