You know what’s worse than a midge plague? A flooded basement.
In a sequence of events that smacked of the Book of Revelation, the swarms of midges gave way to basement flooding, leading my housemates and I to predict that Lake Champlain will soon run red with blood. The flooding was caused by a burst in a copper pipe in the basement, which flooded both that room and half the living space downstairs. There is always irony, of course: The copper pipe fed the outdoor faucet which was being used (for the first time since the Fall) to spray the midges from the side of the house!
You can see the split in the pipe in the picture. The fixture is one of those freeze-proof faucets that has the valve on the inside of the house where it can stay warm. Although the faucet was installed correctly (with a downward pitch towards the nozzle to allow draining), we think that water backed up into the pipe when we used the hose to make our backyard hockey rink during the winter. When the water was not allowed to drain, it backed up into the pipe, froze, and split the pipe.
Fortunately things are drying out pretty quickly, thanks to a Shop-Vac Air Mover and about 8 other fans. It’s nothing like the recent flooding on the coast of New England, but even the most minor of basement floods can elevate anxiety levels and interrupt daily life. I hope it doesn’t happen again for a long, long time.