Today was alternately spent high and dry preparing our tax returns, and with our waterproof boots on trying to divert the spring snow run-off away from our house.  The less said about taxes, the better, but we had some some fun with the water.

Our house sits about a third of a mile downhill from a rise of land that tops out at approximately 1240 feet.  In almost every weather condition we are grateful for our placement; being on the downhill and eastern side of the rise of land protects us from the worst winds.  But when the ground is saturated as it is currently, we are very aware that we are on the downhill slope of some good ol’ Vermont ledge.  After saturation is reached – and this winter’s melting snowfall has provided more than enough moisture for that condition to be met – the water does not seep into the ground but rather runs along the surface – toward, around, and into our house.

The first order of business was to purchase a little battery operated siphon to remove about 50 gallons of water from the crawlspace directly below the water heater.  The siphon worked impressively well.

Even more fun was digging a ditch and creating a berm at the highest point of land in our backyard to divert the water into an existing but until recently iced-over trench which, when completed, very satisfyingly took the water away from the back door, where it had been pooling.

Our equipment was mostly low-tech: shovels and a hoe.   But perhaps we were assisted by the discovery of an authentic Harry Potter wand that had been hiding these last three years in one of Susan’s waterproof Muck Boots.  

Water is a formidable foe, and it’s good to have a magic wand, just in case.