Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Erosion control

As previously mentioned, snow melt in the spring can really do a number on your roads. To correct the swamp that our driveway becomes during mud season we installed a culvert. Works great in normal years. But in really heavy snow years, like this past one, the spring melt simply overwhelms the ground's ability to absorb water and you get this primordial ooze that eats boots, cars, and small animals. 

So we decided to create a low spot. Actually we decided to enhance a naturally occurring low spot so that it could gather water and more slowly feed the culverts and ditches designed to manage the flow.

We started here:

This spot is just to the right of the driveway, on the upper slope. There is a naturally occurring ridge here that drops off on the other side.

The other side
We wanted to open this up so that it could handle more water before flowing out to the culvert.

Entrance to culvert
The culvert is clearly visible from the driveway which is why I'd prettied it up. More gussying is needed as it's now overgrown with beech leaves (those things grow like weeds).

While we had the excavator here we asked him to do a big of digging in there - we couldn't get in with the tractor because it's too soupy. 

Jurassic Park?
A bit of work with the bucket and he'd broadened the low area and dug down to clay. It immediately starting filling.

Pretty ugly at this point
It took about half a day for the water level to rise this much. Since this is not actually a pond - we didn't install a liner or anything - the water will continue to leach into the ground and as the winter thaw and spring rains subside, the area will dry out. That's okay. The main point was that it would be deep enough and wide enough to handle a variety of water levels.

Filling up
The culvert entrance is off stage right. Water is already flowing to it and we will build a rock wall to help control silt that will want to travel into it.

Speaking of silt...all that great soil - I mean, really great multiple years of naturally composted soil - will be put to good use.

There is another pile this big behind me!
It will be used to fill in the low area left by the old camp. And that area has already been designated my future garden site. Looks like I've already made a good start on amending the soil. Woot!

It will be low no more

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