Sunday, February 25, 2018

Anxieties About Our Early Spring Thaw!

In February, Ottawa's weather often warms up for a week or so - creating an early spring thaw...

The melting snow causes puddles to form in the back yard.

As the puddles grow, our anxieties increase!

In our basement furnace room, there is a sump-pump hold. It monitors the underground water table levels. If the water levels rise too much, an automatic pump empties the water out of the hole, through a hose opening in the back yard.

(The little cardboard "traps" around the hold have adhesive strips to catch bugs that enter the basement. It's a non-poisonous method that works really well, we've found...)

Fortunately, until the frozen ground begins to thaw, the melting snow runs over it, not into the ground.

In our yard, a lot of the water pools under the hedge between our yard and our neighbor's.

Unfortunately, if there is a lot of water pooled in our back yard, it can enter and freeze shut the end of the outdoor pipe where water exits from our sump hole.

To prevent that from happening (and flooding our basement), we have to carefully monitor both the sump pump hole and the outdoor pipe. 

If it looks as if we may need to use the sump pump, we have to make sure that the outdoor pipe has no ice in it. If it does, we connect a long hose to our basement laundry taps, run the hose through a basement window and into the frozen pipe outdoors. Then we turn on the hot water and melt the ice that is blocking the sump pump hose...

It's not that hard to do, though it is a two-person job. But the watching and waiting are nerve-wracking, and Terry often worries that water levels will rise and flood the basement when we're not at home...

(I wish we had a back-up system...)

So, every spring, when warmer weather comes - as it has come this past week - we are both on "water watch"! 

(If the situation lasts too long, Terry talks about packing up and moving... to higher ground!)

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