Water in your basement can do all kinds of damage, such as, cause mold growth and damage your floor and walls. If your home is sitting in a low area, or in a large open field, the runoff from rain could stand as an obstacle for you having a dry basement. If you are in this situation, you might need to have a sump pump in your basement.
Sump pumps sit in a trench underneath your basement floor and will turn on when the water level rises above a certain level. They serve a vital role in keeping water from being a problem for you in the basement, but you will need to make sure that everything is working well to keep it running.
For example, the float that gauges the water level in the trench could get stuck if it sits dry for a while. To test the functionality of your sump pump, pour a bucket of water into the trench and make sure the pump starts up. You also should make sure that the water that is pumped out is not getting back into the basement. It should be deposited away from the house, preferably at a grade that funnels it away.