The Contraption

To cope with the seasonal escalation of floods in the sunroom, Egor has devised The Contraption.

The Contraption consists of an extra-large plastic trash can with a two-inch hole drilled on the bottommost side. Secured into the hole with silicone, a short length of PVC pipe connects to a twenty-foot length of remnant vinyl pool hose. The vinyl hose extends from the trash can and past the east and south sides of the house, where it reconnects with a four-foot length of PVC near the driveway.

When it rains, The Contraption is swiftly positioned under the most problematic roof corner, to catch rainwater and funnel it away from the back porch. Unfortunately, this position varies according to the intensity of the rain, often requiring numerous trips through one of the sunroom windows (the back door is taped shut during severe rainstorms) to place it correctly. The Contraption works as it is supposed to, filling with rainwater which exits through the vinyl hose and draining down the driveway. For the first several rainstorms, The Contraption worked fine. But, these were the insignificant storms of June, incomparable to the deluges of July and August.

The first big rainstorm revealed that to transport the roof runoff to the driveway, we would need a Contraption the size of a Ford Expedition. As water poured from the thick, thundery sky, the Contraption was so swiftly overwhelmed by rain it floated away.  Egor wrenched it into position with a broom stuck through a window. He held it until it filled with enough water to stay put, tolerating my anxious harangue about lightning striking us both dead.  Briefly, Egor and I were at odds over how much of a difference it made, however, when the water is two inches above the back door, the 39 gallons circulated by The Contraption is trivial.

The next day we considered gutters for the roof, even taking measurements with some optimism. Despite our sad financial situation and a possible move to another state, we will not leave the next owners of our house stuck with this problem as the previous owners did to us. After hours of research on gutters, we discovered that a downspout is required every thirty feet. Our flooding problem remains unsolved. We will keep you posted about our next genius plan.

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