Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Learning Experiences 2: Drainage

Mental images of Daniel Day Lewis in "There Will be Blood" aside, drainage is definitely firmly in our minds now. Unsurprisingly Irene, or any major tropical storm will be an issue for anyone with property and even more so for people attempting to homestead. In our benefit, we don't yet have animals to care for in a deluge, and thus that ended up not being a major concern yet. That said, what did happen highlighted things we are going to have to focus on in construction and placement of our animal pens.

This is (was?) our driveway. As you can clearly see, we can't drive on that section.

Or that one.

This one's ok, but you can still see damage.

All of that damage, and much of it honestly could have been prevented or at least significantly mitigated with proper drainage. We do have drainage, and for the rest of the property it was mostly sufficient, even for the level of storm. The driveway, not so much.

That is one side of our drainage culvert.

And that's the other.

During the storm we had 12 - 14 inches of water in a 10 hour period. Fairly significant, but not something that is impossible to deal with. Things to look for to make sure your drainage is up to snuff.

* Make sure there isn't any vegetation growing in your drainage ditch.
* Check your culverts, if they look like they are filling up with dirt you need to dig down so that water flow will blow out the sediment blocking the drainage pipe.
* Make sure you have a good pitch leading from the areas you want drained TO the drainage ditch, not the other way around.
* Insure that if there is an area where a flow is going to come up against something you don't want eroded away that you have something solid there to prevent soil from washing away. In our case we have a lot of rock that we can use.

Obviously this is something that has my attention fairly strongly right now, and I will try to have pictures of the process of working on the drainage in various areas of the property as I'm working on them so I can show before and after.

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