‘Water pump gate’ makes more victims: family desperate now that basement is flooded

The Dresmé-Van der Valk family says they are desperate now that their basement has been flooded for days. Groundwater seeps upwards, causing tens of thousands of euros in damage. The family is sure: that is because the municipality previously pumped away the excess water at IJmuiderslag and the beach houses.

Water Pump Gate – NH News

In IJmuiden people are already talking about ‘water pump gate’, because lately the pumping out of excess water due to peak showers has been in the news. Previously, the beach houses on Heerenduinenweg and IJmuiderslag were completely under water. The municipality recently decided to use an extra emergency pump and channel the water into the nearby dune valley.

Lowest place

The Dresmé-Van der Valk family says they live in one of the lowest places in the dune valley and are now directly affected by this in their basement. “We live 800 meters from the place where the pumping takes place. We spend hours every day vacuuming and pumping our basement dry. We see all kinds of lakes forming from rising groundwater in the adjacent nature reserve, which is normally bone dry,” says Niël Dresmé.


Pumping out the excess water did not go without a hitch by the municipality. Unknowns sabotaged the pump hoses a few days ago. Linda van der Valk has “no idea who did that, but children were walking around there and setting off fireworks. It was already flooded here when that happened.”

The family gradually sees the location of their house as the drain of IJmuiden, because it has already been hit by major flooding three times before. In June 2021, the street was flooded, after two overflows (emergency valves to allow water to flow away) in the street had previously been removed by the municipality, but not replaced. The water entered the family’s home, causing damage of forty thousand euros at the time. “We live here beautifully in the dunes, but you would almost think about moving. The municipality does not want to listen when we come with a few simple questions,” says Dresmé.

Several cellars

The municipality says in a response that the pumped out water cannot be the groundwater that is now coming up through the family’s basement. “The groundwater flows towards the Kennemer lake and not towards the dune valley where the family lives.” The municipality sees another reason for the nuisance. “We are currently dealing with a unique situation where the groundwater is extremely high throughout the Netherlands. We see that there is water in crawl spaces and basements in several places in Velsen.”

“Home owners are responsible for ensuring that a basement is waterproof. No matter how annoying the nuisance is now, residents will now have to wait until the groundwater has dropped again,” the municipality said. In the meantime, the Dresmé-Van der Valk family is disappointed with the attitude of the local government. “We feel neither seen nor heard by the municipality.”

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