~ Submitted by Bruce Freedman
My wife and I have lived on Hemlock Lane in Bedford for almost 30 years and have never experienced water problems like this year. Since spring we have had a literal stream of water flowing down our backyard stairs, driveway, and down to the street.
We contacted the Bedford DPW and they sent a town engineer who walked around our house and determined that the groundwater was coming down from the hill behind our house. The ground was squishy up the hill behind our house, and when he lifted a rock from the top of a stonewall he could see the water flowing underground. His consensus was that the water table had changed due to the amount of rainfall last spring and there was nothing the Town of Bedford could do about it. He suggested putting in diversion trenches to re-route the water. We contacted a couple of engineers and chose one who came to our house twice and then didn’t return our calls. By then it was late fall and we would have to contact someone else in the spring.
We never envisioned the problems that would occur this winter. The water hasn’t stopped but continues to flow down our driveway and freezes, covering the entire driveway with a coating of slippery ice. We were able to chip away enough ice around my car so that I could drive down and back up my driveway, but the rest of the ice is too thick and slippery to chip away. I am 69 and am taking my life in my hands every Monday when I bring my barrels down and back up my driveway. I sent pictures of my driveway to the DPW showing that the ice goes past my driveway and into the street, posing a hazard as cars try to avoid the ice. The DPW said they
had gotten calls from some houses in Bedford with similar issues but there was nothing they could do about it.
I am just one lone voice, but if other households experiencing similar issues report it to the Town of Bedford and the Bedford Citizen then the Town of Bedford could stop ignoring their responsibilities and do something to help these residents who elected them.
This is not a “small” change in the water tables. It is not a normal or isolated situation. It needs to be investigated and resolved.