Among other things our big challenge is erosion.
When we dug for the foundation, nestled in the side of our mountain along side a babbling brook (shown on the left after the rains yesterday) that we intended on using for our hand washing, dish washing and sanitary purposes, about 100 feet from the 800 foot well that was dug prior to our purchase we discovered an underground stream. We had to bring extra drainage into the foundation plans to avoid water problems. We were really surprised by this discovery because the previous owners had dug the well 800 feet to hit water, what a surprise to us that only 10 feet down, we had a spring! Trucked in earth, rocks, sand and a house built on a fairly steep grade it would only seem logical that eventually this problem would arise. I think denial kept us from considering the problem because we had so much to do already! Well *sigh* this weekend we had torrential downpours and can no longer avoid this issue. Not only is the area around the house deteriorating but our driveway is washing away. The driveway is 400 or so feet long and straight up the mountain. It was very well done with a drainage ditch along side and redirected to the stream that feeds into the Baker river overflow at the dam. Blackberry bushes that I love so much for jam and birds, have grown dangerously close and with strong winds, debris have gotten tangled in the bushes causing a dam of its own and thereby washing out one of the most crucial parts of the driveway.
Dave and I spent much of our pre-breakfast hour digging, redirecting and redamming that area and I think we are okay -other than really sore muscles, but the question remains how best to collect the water coming off the roof and save it for watering or the aforementioned needs. We have a "tank" and gutters have been considered but being an ex-property manager in the northeast, I also know that gutters can cause more problems! Any ideas would be welcomed and appreciated! Perhaps some sort of removable system that would enable us to safeguard the house from ice dams in the winter but collect the water in the other seasons. (even though the white mountains really only have 2 seasons, winter and summer lol)
This is a picture of the wooded side of our house and it illustrates the 'overhang' that was created when the foundation was poured sideways (another long story) in order to preserve the floor plan we had created. under this overhang it is difficult to see, but there is alot of run off and it is causing some erosion which can be seen along the wall area.
Here is a rather sad and understated picture of how the driveway is falling away from the strong rains and the run off from the house and mountain.
And here, if you can possibly tear your eyes away from the incredibly cute, smiling 200 pound, 40mph doggy, is a shot of the erosion on the other side of the house.
And here, is a picture of yours truly and Dave enjoying the birds singing down the sun on friday evening.