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Bearcamp 05-14-2009 08:17 PM

Hard rain creek runs through yard. HELP
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I have a horse pasture above my home and when we get a hard rain it will wash the mud and horse manure from the field and through my yard right past the house. See there's an underground stream that runs right where the water on top of the ground runs. About 1 year ago (before I bought the home) someone put a 6 inch pipe in the ground to take care of this (What an idiot) 6 inch? Yeah right. Just got done planting grass and strawed it and all washed away. Any ideas what to do? We thought for starters to install river stone through the middle of the yard which would be fine but what about the water, mud and manure getting from the field to the yard? Build about a 12" wall with mountain stone so the water can get through but not the crap? Any thought??????I sure could use some help on this one. This is twice it washed me see3d and straw away. Now I've had it. Here's a few pics and you can see between the fence posts where the water, mud and manure run. The ground is still muddy after raking it up. The underground stream is right under this part of the yard and field.

Roberta-mos 05-15-2009 07:18 AM

rent a backhoe and create another underground streambed with a HUGH steel pipe. the pipe is the biggest expense. We have two under our driveway. One was about $1000.00 and kind of big for a diy. The wider the pipe the more it costs, also the size of your yard would (length of pipe) affect costs too. Then all you need to do is think about causing the drainoff in the field to head for the pipe. Have a screen of some kind to keep it from clogging and check it at least once a year, in the spring or it will eventually fill up with all of the mud, etc You might want to hire another person to do this. People who put in driveways should know how to fix this. they calculate the size by the footage of runoff possible and then look at 100 year flood possiblities.

Aside from the mud and gunk, the other thing would be to "create" a stream in your yard and enjoy an intermittant water feature. this would mean an open ditch with enough slope to avoid standing water. If it meandered a bit it could be asthetic. a flat yard is out.

Roberta-mos 05-15-2009 07:27 AM

Do you own the horse pasture? prevent overgrazing. less horses/field. rotate locations. replant the field with things to prevent runoff, not just grass. esp at lower end near your yard. also consider if you dont own the field, planting things in your yard that would enjoy the water and mud and control the flow. Elderberries love a rich moist situation and the berries are really good for you, make jam and syrups for winter for fighting colds and flue. keep young children from these as they are poisonous.

Bearcamp 05-15-2009 07:29 AM

The yard already is sloped to avoid standing water and your second idea was a thought. Line the yard with like mountain stone, few flowers and bushes but I'd have to have some sort of barrier to keep the gunk from running into the yard also. Like I said,,,,I thought a small wall of mountain stone in the valley part of the field right between the 2 posts. Stones spaced good enough to let the water through but not the gunk.
Yes I do own the field and we just opened up about another 2 acres to the left of the field. So that also will keep them out of this area some. Although this is their little hiding place,,,run in and shelter.

Roberta-mos 05-15-2009 11:52 AM

Its hard to fight the power of water. a stone wall could be a dam that would back it up and make the pasture soupy and then it would eventually flow over anyway. Enough plants there could really help, I can visualize one of those attractive arched bridges in your back yard over a small stone dry run/wet stream. The other possibility might be to "create" a small pond in the pasture with cat tails. They are used by our town's sanitation department for control of run off, but they do have a specific requirement of ? inches of standing water to live ( no more and no less). consider creating a shelter for the horses somewhere else, move or plant other trees and that water tub must be an attraction for them also. have another fence maybe 15-20 feet further in to keep them off that area and plant it heavily with something....county extension agents in Maine answer these kind of questions what to plant....your view of the pasture will eventually be gone. Man, if I had that spot it would be elderberries. they grow like weeds, like full sun ph of 6, good to zone 3. they love the moisture, but do not like standing water. I have been researching them and one person on line said that theirs grew 4 feet in one season. An inexpensive source would be Fedco, but they would not be buyable until next spring as they are a seasonal coop business. Birds love the berries. a hedge of those would be the answer for me. otherwise, after putting up the fence further in, turn a portion of your yard also into a garden for more of a" buffer". All of that mud and manure would make a great garden. If you are not into gardens, well, day lillies are tough and come back year after year with no maintance. they also like sun. there are hundreds of varieties. You could start a collection and even sell the "babies". Enough of a buffer of moisture and manure loving plants and the water would be slowed down and I doubt of the gunk would be a problem. In you photo it does not look that steep.

Roberta-mos 05-16-2009 11:49 AM

one more thought on the backyard water question
another plant that would do well ....roses. They cannot get too much water and love manure. I would go for less showy but easy care ones. The hips are a valuable source of Vit C and can be saved in the freezer for winter colds as well as dried. landscape bushes bloom almost all summer. Tea roses are more work and some dont' like cold winters. You would need to prune once a year to keep them getting out of hand.

downunder 05-18-2009 04:08 PM

Thought about a rain garden?

Scuba_Dave 05-18-2009 05:15 PM

I'd create a rock riverbed & line it with flowers
Or border it with a veggie garden
You should get softball sized tomatoes

pls8xx 05-19-2009 07:29 AM

The problem here is the quantity of water flowing through the back yard. What I see in the photos indicates a general landform of about a 5% slope that extends to the treeline in the photo background.

In the graphic below the slope is shown by the purple contours. An extensive area drains toward the coral with the direction of water flow shown by the blue arrows. All this water gets together near the lower part of the coral and then flows across he back yard in a narrow channel, show by red arrows.

Most of the water can be redirected by cutting a swale in the location shown. Determine the grade elevation at point 'A'. Then position point 'B' at the low place in the terrain where the elevation is the same as point 'A'. Dig a shallow swale shaded in green through points 'A' and 'B', moving the dirt to the area marked 'Fill'.

Bearcamp 05-19-2009 07:37 AM

Very good drawing,,,you nailed it. Okay, to the right there's a road and more of an upgrade. So I'd have to dig about 6 ft. deep over there. And to the left there's more of a hill. There again about 6 ft. of digging. The water comes into the funnel from about 8 different places and all gathers at the fence. It just rained hard again,,,This time I had water and very little muck. I could live with a stone wall to help trap some muck that I get and then maybe a dry run part way through the yard with plants. I might just put up the wall first and see what happens. Then if all is well, continue with the dry run.

Scuba_Dave 05-19-2009 07:54 AM

A proper rain garden along the rock riverbed will really suck up the water. Someone else just did this & had very good results

You also don't want to trap water in the corral area
So you need it to drain without letting the pucks thru

pls8xx 05-19-2009 08:00 AM

The wall would be an expensive mistake. While photos can be misleading, in this case they indicate to me that a 1 ft deep swale would work if placed in the right location. I can't see where a 6 ft deep ditch is needed.

The way to begin is to map the property with elevations. Only when the facts are known can a detailed plan be completed that will minimize the cost and work needed.

I assumed that your house is located to the bottom of the graphic. If this was incorrect and the house is toward the top of my graphic, then a swale in the other direction would be the way to go.

Bearcamp 05-19-2009 08:47 AM

I was saying about a wall, not to stop the water be some how stop the muck from coming into the yard. I like the idea about the swale, but the water would have to flow uphill quite a bit on both sides. What you have as the deck is actually the corner of the house. And don't forget,,,,ther is an underground stream that flows all the time. It's right where the low spot is. And right behind the shed, there's a road.

pls8xx 05-19-2009 11:03 AM

Bearcamp said " ... but the water would have to flow uphill quite a bit on both sides."

It's clear you don't understand the concept of minimum swales. let me see if I can explain it.

In the graphic above, assume that the natural ground elevation at point A is 100.00 Note the dash line through point B. This line is along a slope, higher to the left, lower to the right. Some place along this line the elevation will be equal to 100.00, same as at point A. Point B is set at this location.

The swale is dug at point A to be about a foot or slightly deeper making the new elevation there to be 99.00. The dirt being dug is moved to the fill area blocking the water from following the old direction of flow. The elevation of B is still 100.00 or a bit above if fill dirt was spread there. The water then flows along the swale from B at elev 100 to A at elev 99.

Depending on the distance from A to B, point B may need to be positioned slightly higher or the swale dug slighly deeper at A. The minimum fall should not be less than 1.5 ft per 100 ft of distance.

Scuba_Dave 05-19-2009 11:39 AM

Right, but he is dealing with a 6' change in elevation
Digging down 6' is not easy
Even digging 3' & adding the 3' to the low area would be a big undertaking

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