13,000 Steps

Is this necessary or even effective?

Does pumping away 9,000 gallons of stormwater per hour make a difference, or is it instantly replaced via a hydrologic mechanism we don't understand? Are we bailing a boat with a hole in it?

It's really hard to tell. We're just starting to get to learn the dynamics of this property. Sarah tested the soil and it drains OK--not great, but not terrible. And in normal times its absorption rate keeps up with the rain. But after a few days of persistent and increasing precip, the ground gets saturated, then add 4 more inches in 48 hours and a shallow pond manifests in our backyard. It's kind of pretty! Better to have too much pure fresh water than not enough.

Even after the rain ceases, surface water from the surrounding hills will continue to trickle in, so part of the impetus to use the pump is to get ahead of this latency effect. But does it help? I ran it from 8am-5pm while it rained steadily all day. At times the standing water level dropped, then it rose again while the pump kept chugging away.

I had things to do indoors, but I was fascinated by how the water revealed the contours of the land. I kept walking around and around, half-consciously observing the flow but really learning on a more intuitive level through my legs. I hadn't intended it, but I logged 13,000 steps without leaving our .38 acre lot. And that doesn't account for when the phone was on a tripod shooting a timelapse of an engineering feat that made me feel proud as Moses. (Robert, that is.)

I'm a genius! I just invented the drainage ditch!

Ha ha, I poke fun, but somehow I didn't realize the "obvious" until I'd internalized the topography and absorbed the water's dance. Was the answer all along a humble shovel? 

Ultimately I think we'll manage the situation with grading and passive drainage, but until then the pump might come in handy in a pinch. However, I'm embarrassed by it. It's loud and polluting, so out of consideration for the neighbors I built a little bunker of shame to muffle the sound.

Framed with 2x4, clad on 3 sides with OSB and plywood scraps, one side is left open to accommodate the exhaust. It will also have a lid. It's going to be exposed to weather so I took time to paint it with an unopened can of purple that came with the house:

That was sort of fun, but the best part of the day is when I get in bed and the kits put on a wrestling exhibition. Their affection for each other is touching and they're such good company while Sarah is away. And what is that new chirping sound Patchouli is making?


Popular posts from this blog

Catio Build Day One: Peeling It Back

You Otter Slow Down

What's It Tahuya?