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Community and Q&A

Snow melt

Martin Holladay | Posted in General Questions on

I live in the mountains of northern Vermont. This year we ended up with about 4 feet of very dense snow on the ground by March, and it began melting about a week ago. I protect my house from snow melt water with a series of plastic catch basins connected to buried 4-inch pipes. These lead to daylight below my house.

The one on the south side of my house is now running at 75 gallons per minute — I filled a 5-gallon bucket in 4 seconds at the daylight termination.

The one on the north side is a 6-inch pipe — I haven’t measured the flow rate yet.

If only we could send all this crystal-clear water to Uzbekistan…

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  1. Expert Member

    Looking at the floods near Montreal i bet you are glad you are in the mountains, not perched on the banks of a river.

  2. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #2

    Perhaps it’s time to look into some micro-hydro Martin, why let that 75GPM go to waste. How long do you think you’ll be seeing that flow rate?

    I love streams. I have two on my property here which is one of my favorite things about this lot. There isn’t enough of a drop to extract any real energy out of either of the streams, but they are very pretty to look at.


    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #3

      My lot is bisected by a stream too. It's a wonderful wildlife corridor. The only downside is the bears that keep smashing my composter.

    2. GBA Editor
      Martin Holladay | | #5

      Bill / Zephyr,
      One hundred and fifty years ago, our village had a water-powered sawmill that mostly operated during the spring snowmelt. The mill would saw lumber for 24 hours a day in April and early May, then go dormant until the following spring.

      I have flow, but not a lot of head. The investment in hydropower equipment isn't worth it for my location -- everything will dry up in another 10 days or so.

  3. Expert Member
    Peter Engle | | #4

    I saw the river flood warnings for northern VT. There's a lot of snowpack there to melt this year. Have fun.

    It does seem like a waste to throw away all that water though, doesn't it?

  4. GBA Editor
    Patrick Mccombe | | #6

    How about a snapshot of the snow Martin?

    1. GBA Editor
      Martin Holladay | | #7

      It's melting fast. Here are two photos I took this morning.

      1. GBA Editor
        Patrick Mccombe | | #9


  5. PAUL KUENN | | #8

    We had 7" new snow last week and yesterday was 70F. What a fantastic xc ski and ice climbing year. Take a cold shower while it lasts Martin:-)

    1. Expert Member
      BILL WICHERS | | #10

      That sounds like Colorado weather. Am I right?


  6. Peter Yost | | #11

    72F and sunny yesterday in southern VT; condolences Martin...

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