If you think of Framingham as an exit on the Mass Pike, you may not realize that Framingham is first and foremost a river town. If you live here, on the other hand, you know you are never far from the water.
The river, streams, ponds, brooks, and reservoirs are potential flood risks, and they contribute to the high water table in Framingham. The water table measures how much of the ground is completely saturated with water. The water table may be far below the ground surface or very close to the ground surface. Here in Framingham, the water table is very close to the surface of the ground. This is common in New England in areas near surface bodies of water.
The water table fluctuates seasonally, and it is lower during periods of drought and higher during periods of above average precipitation. According to the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey), the water table in Massachusetts was higher than average as of September 2008.
As you can imagine, when the groundwater is completely saturated around your basement, it is very difficult (if not impossible!)to keep the basement dry.
HYDROLOGY is the scientific study of the properties, distribution, and effects of water on the earth's surface, in the soil and underlying rocks, and in the atmosphere. Understanding a little bit about the hydrology of Framingham helped to explain why we were having trouble finding a house with a dry basement in town.