Low groundwater level

If groundwater level declines too far, this can have negative effects. For example, the wooden piles, on which many houses have been built, can start to rot. This can damage the foundation of homes and other buildings.

In the summer, the groundwater level declines. In the winter, it rises . This is normal. However, the groundwater level can decline too far and reach a very low level. For example, in the event of a drought or when residents or companies pump too much water out of the ground.  A low groundwater level can have a negative impact on the foundations of buildings. Therefore, early detection of a low groundwater level is important.

Is the groundwater level under your home too low?

You can find out if the groundwater level under your home has declined too far. To do this, you need information about the groundwater level and your foundation.

Groundwater level

You can view the groundwater level in your area on the map with water level indicators. If a water level indicator has not been installed in your neighbourhood, you can install one in your garden or next to your home. This will allow you to measure the exact groundwater level close to your house’s foundation.

Your foundation

Would you like to know whether your wooden foundation pilings are no longer submersed in water? Then you need to know the height of the pile-heads of your foundation. Sometimes the information on your house can be found in the archives of the municipality of Amsterdam

Do you know both the level of the groundwater and the height of the pile-heads of your foundation? Then you can compare the two levels and you will know if you have a problem. 

What actions can you take?

You are responsible for the foundation of your home. Do you think that the groundwater level under your home has declined too far? The guide of the Kenniscentrum voor funderingsaanpak (KCAF), (Knowledge Centre for the Approach of Foundation problems) uses a clear, straightforward step-by-step approach (in Dutch). 

How to increase the groundwater level

The wooden pilings under your home must be covered by water. Otherwise, they can start to rot and damage the foundation of your home. However, you can increase the groundwater level under your home. Ensure that the soil can absorb the groundwater. For example:

  • Remove any paved surfaces and replace them with grass or plants.
  • Make sure rainwater is no longer carried away from your home by cutting through downspouts or removing the bottom end of the downspouts.
  • Install a permeable surface, cobblestones and/or infiltration pipes which allow the rainwater to penetrate the ground. Read the information on http://www.kcaf.nl/kcaf-publicaties/

Please ensure that the groundwater level does not rise too high! This can cause other problems, such as flooding and soggy gardens. 

Any questions?

Do you have any questions regarding a low groundwater level? Please contact our customer sevice team