Friday, August 4, 2017

Working In the Trenches

Since I have started to neaten up the other side of the culvert going under our driveway, I thought it was a good time to do something about the uphill side of the culvert. When we purchased this property, it was just a leaf choked hole in the lawn about the side of a dinner plate. The leafs did a great job of diverting the water up and over the top of our driveway and was eroding the hill on the back side. One of my first orders of business was to pour a concrete driveway that was about six inches higher to prevent water from flowing over it and eroding the hill on the back side.

As a result, the dinner sized plate leaf choked hole became a small pond. I cleaned out the leaves which allowed water to erode the entrance into a hole the size of which I could almost sleep inside. This was mostly done over the last couple years when we have been getting rain but this year due to the drought going on, it hasn't been a problem. But in hopes of someday getting some more rain again, I decided to tackle it one cloudy morning before we were to go under a flash flood watch in the evening due to a forecasted 3 inch per hour rain for several hours! Of course we didn't get a drop of rain.

I had to soak down the area with water to soften it up enough that I could dig out the hole a bit up near the entrance to the culvert and then mixed up two bags of concrete and dumped into the hole. I smoothed it around but realized I didn't have enough concrete so I hurried to the store for another bag which after mixed and added, made it come out to what it looks like above. It was really hard to get any pictures with perspective but that is a 12 inch diameter culvert and is about 12 inches below the "surface" of the ground at that point.

Now that I have that problem solved, I've been thinking of using some of the salvaged pavers that I found in the ditch on the other side of the driveway to create some sort of landscaping bed around our mailbox. I'm not sure if I'm going to wait for a rain at this point or go the old soak the night before and dig the next morning routine.


Susan said...

I see you have the same weather forecasters - dire warnings followed by...nada. Looks like you are prepared for anything. Nice, neat job!

sage said...

Nice concrete work! problem with trying to channel water is that it has a mind of its own and will always seek the easiest and least resistant path.

Ed said...

Susan - Being a weather forecaster is the only job in the world you can be wrong the majority of the time and still have the job!

Sage - It definitely is a battle that can't be won. I can regrade and rechannel it but long after I'm gone, it will have its was eventually!

Kelly said...

Don't you hate it when they tease you with those chances of rain? Maybe taunt is more like it, given they aren't panning out for you.

At least living in a residential area you can safely do nice things to/around your mailbox. Ours has been vandalized and plowed down by impaired drivers so often, it's not worth the effort. We have reinforced it to the point that those vandalizing it should suffer repercussions of their own.

Leigh said...

Better to do the fixes in dry weather than a downpour! Although that hard dry ground can be really tough to work with! Still, it looks like good progress that will hopefully fix the problem.

piseth san said...
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Pumpkin Delight (Kimberly) said...

We had about 5 years of that rain teasing. I hope it turns around for you sooner than later. The leaves are such a nuisance around drains. Just last week we had about 20 minutes of hardcore/flash flood rain (so rare for us), and because none of the gutters had been cleaned since probably spring the streets were flooded, up and over my car's tires in some places. I'm glad you solved your problem in hopes of some rain in the future.

Vince said...

Interesting sculpture :-)

Ed said...

Kelly - Try as I might not to blame the weatherman, it is hard when they are talking about the need for drier weather in the fourth of the state that is flooding while the rest of us are parched.

Leigh - The ground is horrible to work with. Widening out the hole around the end of the pipe was like chiseling concrete!.

Pumpkin Delight - Fortunately in our area, we never get flash floods like what you described. I'm always in awe when I see those on our evening news. At best we get slow floods where the water crests sometimes days or even weeks later.

Vince - I call it "Water Channeling"!