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Rescued water saving Russell trees





RUSSELL -- Barbara Scheck isn't about to let water slip down the gutter past her Russell residence.

She's that dedicated to water conservation.

Or, perhaps more appropriately, she's that dedicated to the trees growing in her yard.

So when the city of Russell had a water leak Tuesday, which sent water cascading down a side street, Scheck rushed to place two sump pumps strategically in the gutter next to her house, stringing a pair of hoses to divert the running water to her stand of trees.

"I don't have any Indian in me, so I can't do a rain dance," she said as she prepared to unplug the pumps to prevent them from burning up as the fugitive water supply diminished.

She was able to capture water from the gutter for more than two hours.

It's not the first time she's deployed the sump pumps -- most commonly used to remove water rather than to save it -- to divert water to her cherished trees.

"They had a water leak," Scheck said of why the water was running down the gutter.

She wasn't willing to stand still long, rushing from tree to tree to make sure every drop of water went into the right spot. Scheck even filled a bucket with water to dispense fertilizer for the trees.

"We planted these trees four or five years ago," she said, just as dry weather started setting in to the region, forcing Russell to restrict water use in the city.

Some of the trees were gifts from her children on Mother's Day.

Scheck's nurtured the trees since and has kept them alive -- and growing.

Trees are important to Scheck, who lives in what was her grandfather's house.

She said they cut down a tree that long offered shade, and it made the house hot, so they redesigned everything around a large tree in the backyard.