Spring Improvement


Sap House Spring

This summer we replaced the old damaged water line from the sap house spring with a brand new 2″ line that won’t leak water on its trip down the mountain to the farm.

When we replaced the pipe we also replaced the failed filter at the top end of the line. Filters clog easy, especially single stage versions and even worse is the old ones made of tin as they rust out, catch leaves, clog and let junk pass when they’re not clogging. The new filter consists of a 50 gallon plastic barrel with strategic holes drilled in the sides. This stops leaves, sticks and critters from plugging up the water line. Inside the barrel there is a secondary finer filter which is the pipe itself, capped at the end with small diameter holes drilled in the top 18″ of the pipe walls. These two large surface area filters diffuse the pressure of the incoming water on the holes which prevents leaves from binding and clogging so it stays cleaner making it so I don’t have to maintain it as much. I like that.

The time saved lets me do additional interesting projects. Yet, I still enjoy walking the 2,000′ up the mountain to check out how the springs are doing. It is a very pleasant walk up through the north field where I can see how that herd is doing and then into the woods. The day I took this photo I saw deer tracks and several grouse. Remus and Katya typically join me for this walk up the water line road.

Outdoors: 34°F/29°F 3″ Snow
Tiny Cottage: 60°F/56°F No fire for three days

Daily Spark: The problem with the idea that we can regulate, legislate, outlaw, cure, capture or mark criminals is it is the unknown ones who are the greatest threat. So teach your children to scream and fight when threatened. Teach your children to know how to inflict painful injuries. Teach your children not to be victims but to be victorious.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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9 Responses to Spring Improvement

  1. Jerry says:

    You are lucky. Your land is blessed with many springs and lots of water. Not everyone is so fortunate.

    • Hmm… Yes… It is good that we have lots of water but luck has nothing to do with it. When I was searching for land back in the 1980’s I specifically looked for land that not only had plenty of water but was also located at the top of the watershed and I had full ownership rights to the water. It pays to research carefully before buying, like with most everything. Additionally we have carefully developed, directed and managed our water resources through piping, terracing and catchment ponds. It has take a lot of hard work. A casual viewer may well miss the effort and skill that goes into making things look easy. As with most things around here, luck has little to do with it.

      • Matt says:

        Is being at the top of the watershed the only requirement for possessing water rights in VT?

        • I bought at the top of the water shed very purposefully but simply owning the land has the water rights associated. This is very different then out in the west in some places where one can own the land and have no rights to even the rain that falls on the land. In fact, my understanding is that in much of the west one owns the land but not the water nor the minerals below. We own it all and up through the airspace to I think 1,000′ above the surface. I read the last somewhere but don’t remember where at the moment.

  2. From looking at the picture of the barrel it seems like there are holes at the waterline. I wonder, just trying to make sense, do those holes get obstructed by floating stuff (branches/leaves)? And if so, assuming stuff either floats (rises to the waterline) or sinks (drops to the bottom), would it be a solution to position/submerge those holes in the barrel below the waterline (say 1 inch below), while the water-inlets of the hose/pipe inside the barrel are at the waterline level? (ie above the holes in the barrel). Then, I imagine, you could control the level of the pond by positioning the inlets of the hose/pipe up or down, while the submerged holes of the barrel keeps filtering the stuff that is floating on the water surface, regardless of the waterlevel?.

    • During high flow periods the holes you see are below the water line. During low flow times, like now, the holes are at the water line, or above it. There are a series of additional holes running in a line down the barrel which are all currently submerged like you suggest. What you’re seeing at the water line is the many holes in the ring at the top. When the water spills over the dam those will be under water – such as in the spring surge. The pipe is near the bottom of the barrel about two feet lower than that ring of holes. The water line pipe can take up to 24 gallons a minute which is more than the spring is producing right now. The next spring down the mountain can send down up to six gallons a minute and several other smaller springs much nearer the upper pond produce 0.25 to 1.5 gallons a minute.

    • Edwin says:

      Quite truthfully as someone who has followed your blog for years and read every last page of wonderful information I think that luck has very little to do with your success Walter. Or perhaps it is like that saying that luck favors the prepared. You plan everything out to the last darn detail in many variations and then you go with the flow of life and opportunity. That is the impression I get. You do your research, work hard and are nimble. You are an inspiration not just to those of us stuck in cubicle hell but in the mindset of cubicles yearning to be free. Keep at it!

  3. David lloyd Sutton says:

    This daily spark should catch fire, Walter. There is no way a society can curtail all of the unexpected results of personal deviations, of societal pressure. All we can do is to teach our kids to be kind and to fight like buzzsaws when they need to.

  4. Sam says:

    That is quite the innovative little spring filter setup. Makes good sense with the progression of holes and sizes to keep out bigger stuff and then progressively smaller stuff. At a camp we have the first thing we have to do every year when we open is hike up to the spring and clean out the filter. It is not unusual for us to have to reclean the filter again during the summer and in the fall. I am going to get a barrel like that and put it on our spring next year. Thanks for the great idea!

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