Our basement floor drains, there were 3, one in the entry under the back porch, one in the laundry area, and one towards the front, outside the area of the old "coal bin". The concrete had sockets set into it which accepted a large, "twist-in" fitting, about 4 inches in diameter. The twist-in plug was a cast-iron part having 3 prongs which mated with the female counterparts in the floor. The center of the plugs were threaded for 2-inch pipe, the "stand-pipe", which could be as high as desired. Thus, the stand-pipes were UN-twisted out of the floor drains, and stored away, to be inserted when heavy rains were predicted.
The Senator is correct: High standpipes allowed pressure build-up beneath the concrete floor, a result of decades-old drain piping which allowed back-up leakage under the floor slab, when street drains were over-full, and backing up into folks' basements. Tales were told of buckled floors, heaved upwards by the water pressure beneath them. I never saw one, but do not discount the possibility. Our own floor was riddled with cracks, some quite wide, through which back-up water poured upwards into the basement in streams sometimes several inches high. This, I pictured, alleviated the possibility of a buckled floor slab, but did fill the basement with shit, pure and simple. berwynson