In Lowell, MA, the Biggest Threat to Residents’ Basements Might Surprise You

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In the city of Lowell, MA, residents’ basements are being flooded — but not by excessive rains or thawing snow.

In fact, the menace that’s plaguing homeowners here is a colony of bucktoothed, brown-furred rodents. According to the Lowell Sun, beaver dam constructions are turning some yards into swamps and threatening others with the possibility of flooding if the dams break.

“There’s always this thing about ‘save the beavers,'” Lowell resident Charles Tamulonis, whose property falls into the “swamp” category, said. “But it’s the greatest nuisance in the world depending on where you live.”

In November, city officials were forced to tear down a beaver dam for the first time in about a decade, after the dam created a lake in Marginal Brook. Last spring, a beaver dam caused the water around Tamulonis’ home to rise five feet, putting his backyard underwater and flooding his basement. Tamulonis would tear down the dam near his property, only for it to be rebuilt the next morning, according to the Sun.

“Basement flooding can be caused by many unique factors,” says Austin Werner, Owner, The Real Seal, LLC. “This article is an example of how anybody can be affected, no matter how dry their area has been. The best way to deal with this is to have a professional come out and inspect your house to find any weak points or vulnerabilities. A Drain Tile System may be the best solution to ensure your basement stays dry, no matter what Mother Nature throws our way.”

In response to the beaver population’s growing audacity, Lowell’s Department of Public Works has set up a permit system that allows residents to trap and relocate beavers and tear down any dams built on their property.

To legally remove a beaver dam, a local board of health has to agree that the dam poses a threat to public health. After that, residents must apply for a 10-day permit that allows them to trap and relocate any beavers on their property. If they don’t trap all the beavers in this 10-day span, they must re-apply for another permit.

If successful, Lowell’s thriving beaver colony will be able to build all the dams it wants — but well enough away from where humans live.

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