I called my father last night to tell him this story. I was just amazed at how the timing worked out. Since you didn’t hear it, I’ll have to tell it again.
As you know, I recently did some work on our sump pump discharge piping. I had to wait for my check valves to arrive from Amazon.com (I could only find the good ones there). Well, just as luck would have it, only a few mere hours after I finished hooking up the system, we had a short warm front move through that brought buckets of rain. So much rain, in fact, that the sump pumps have been kicking on and off all night.
I was reading a homesteading blog last week that emphasized the idea of not being lazy when living in rural areas. The blog said something along the lines of, “You can not be lazy. Ever. You CAN NOT be lazy when living in rural areas – EVER!” I’ve been thinking of that sentence a lot and last night, when I realized we’d be using the sump pumps for a few days, I also realized that I hadn’t yet hooked up the outside tubing. I purchased 100 feet of 4 inch flexible tubing a few weeks ago just for this very project.
The problem was, we now have snow on the ground and if I were to roll out the tubing and lay it on top of the snow, I wouldn’t get the downhill slope I would need to allow all the water to flow through without freezing. I knew I would have to go outside and shovel a trench. For what distance? I wasn’t sure. And I was racing against the clock because the warm weather was set to disappear that very night (last night). If I didn’t move fast, I would lose all opportunity to shovel anything. All the snow and six inch thick slush would quickly freeze and I wouldn’t be shoveling anything.
As I was shoveling last night, the pump kept turning on and off. Since I had already hooked up the corrugated tubing, the water was getting trapped. Good thing the tubing is thick.
When I reached a certain point and when I was certain the slope was enough so the water wouldn’t make it back into the house, I cut the pipe. I was left with a rising pool of water that would only freeze overnight and that would prevent further flow of water.
As I stood there, I knew I was at a crossroads. Oh how dramatic. I could either let the water flow to a point about 30 feet from the house or I could continue digging through very wet, heavy snow all the way to the pond. If I made it to that point, the channel I created would act as a riverbed and the water would have nothing to hinder its flow. I decided to go for it. The homesteading blog authors would be proud because all my shoveling took a good long time in the dark.
When I was finished shoveling, you should have seen that water flow. It was like a torrent, making its way all the way to the back of the property. I’m not sure if any of it made it to the pond, because there’s a dip right before it, but I’m sure the water flowed a good distance. And the ice is a few inches thick this morning, so I know a good amount of it was pumped out overnight.
I’ll tell you, that was quite the chore. But at least it’s done now, that is, until the next time it snows.