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Old 05-29-2011, 04:00 PM   #1
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How to child proof a culvert.


We have a 1.5 feet diameter culvert (drainage pipe) at the bottom of our front lawn that drains ours and our neighbors lawns - we recently started creating a rain-garden of sorts to make it a little more attractive but we still have the question of how to make the entrance to the drainage pipe itself protected - small kids (ours and others nearby) have gotten it into their head that it might actually be fun to crawl into the pipe (danger!)

Does anyone have any suggestions on how one might cover this pipe up preventing kids from being able to climb in while still allowing the drainage function to work properly? Anything perhaps Lowes or Home Depot might provide?

Any suggestions would be appreciated,

David McKillen
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:27 PM   #2
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How to child proof a culvert.


Hardware cloth over the ends of both sides of the pipe. It's sort of an industrial metal screening that comes in various hole sizes. Big boxes sell it in the garden section.
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Old 05-29-2011, 06:28 PM   #3
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How to child proof a culvert.


Perfect Ron thanks man!
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Old 05-29-2011, 06:31 PM   #4
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How to child proof a culvert.


Actually quick follow up question - any suggestions on how to fix the hardware cloth to the the pipe itself? (some kind of industrial strength glue or something?)

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Old 05-29-2011, 06:59 PM   #5
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How to child proof a culvert.


Is this culvert is privite owned or it owned by the county { or hiway dept } if latter I will suggest that you check with them they may have some idea or something they can provide you with it.

Otherwise perforated diamond plate will work very well with this useage.

{ make sure you do not have the space any bigger than 3 inches apart opening and you will have to check from time to time to make sure there is no debries to plug up the culvert.}

Merci,
Marc
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:33 PM   #6
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How to child proof a culvert.


Actually Rebar over the front, vs any type of stamped metal is the best way to stop anyone from sticking their heads into it, but also allow easy cleaning.
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:39 PM   #7
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How to child proof a culvert.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Actually Rebar over the front, vs any type of stamped metal is the best way to stop anyone from sticking their heads into it, but also allow easy cleaning.
Now you mention rebars., I will direct this part to the OP The rebar is probly the best option and I know many county owned culverts they used that as well so what they do is build a hinge on the top and some type of bolt or lag bolt on the bottom { if steel they will weld a peice of angle iron } to hold it in the place.

Also check with the county if they are plan to replace your culvert if they are shedule to replace it dont hurt to ask them to make a child proof gate on the culvert { I am pretty sure they can do that without major issue } most culvert will last about 40 years before it get rusted out { steel verison } while cement verison it will varies a bit.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:00 PM   #8
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How to child proof a culvert.


Don't make the holes/lots too small or it will be constantly clogging with debris, leaves etc.
The city put some of those on a couple of culverts near me and removed them after about a year when the they constantly clogged in rain storms.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:26 PM   #9
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How to child proof a culvert.


This is the ONLY safe way I know. They are commercially made.

It is angled so that water rushing down the ditch will shove the child up and out of danger. A VERY important construction detail ! (My 11 year old niece was trapped underwater by a flat, vertical grate and drowned.)

Also, the bars are of a large enough diameter not to bind their arms inside. The ones in this drawing appear to be flat and kind of narrow. NOT GOOD! All of the ones we have around here now seem to have round bars (pipes) of about 2-1/2" diameter, about 3" apart. Rebar would be bad because of the difficulty a child might have in scraping their arms or legs back through them if those members got flushed inside. The smooth pipes are much better, IMO.

The bars are placed side to side, NOT top to bottom, so that the child can climb them like a ladder if necessary to get their head out of the water. Kids understand Jungle Gyms (monkey bars) and will instinctively climb.

DO NOT place anything over the culvert that is built in a GRID manner. If a child's arm or leg goes into a GRIDDED hole in a grate, the only way to get it back out is to pull it straight back, all the way out. Not an easy task to accomplish even with no water involved. This may not be possible at all if the water pressure is stronger than the child. Parallel bars allow the arm or leg to come back out at any angle.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:54 PM   #10
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How to child proof a culvert.


Stupid question but how attractive is this thing to kids? I built a museum for munchkins once and they were easily scared off, until age 10 or whatever by stories of fire breathing dragons and trolls with green teeth demanding allowances.

Me? Once I learned Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy were not real? I believed nothing. Absolutely nothing. Weld that thing shut on me? I would have found a way in communicating with a guy, or girl, in prison about techniques for cutting grid you welded in place.

What you have to do is make the culvert safe. Save for the giant rats with black plague infested fleas?

I know you don't want them in the thing but the more you describe from a mysterious standpoint? The more thev kids will want in.

Unless it is pouring and thing is filled with water? Why not let them in.

Support the extraordinary exploration skills of children. They know with reckless abandon that which we forget as we age. I once called them the "Future Famous".

My neighbor could not figure out where is four daughters kept disappearing. The four of them found a way to get into a giant, deep abandoned cistern. How they got down and climbed out he never figured out but he built a ladder and built them a doll house down there. Of course with adequate ventilation.

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Old 05-29-2011, 09:55 PM   #11
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How to child proof a culvert.


The solution posted by Willie is the only one to consider....
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Old 05-29-2011, 10:13 PM   #12
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How to child proof a culvert.


This reminds me of when I was a kid, there are two storm drain culverts that lead to a creek that eventually goes to the river, and we went inside. They were much larger, maybe 4 feet diameter. These are very attractive to kids! We made it pretty far but chickened out as our bikes were at the surface unattended. All I remember is a slight elbow and at the very end there was a grate and we probably could not have gone further so we turned around.

If by chance there was a sub division that occasionally pumps water into the system, it could have potentially had rushing water coming out of it. Things kids don't think about.
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:11 PM   #13
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How to child proof a culvert.


We were the same way as kids. Problem is, we found a old culvert stuck vertical in the ground for the old coal mine back in our woods, but never got around busting into the old rescue shaft a few thousand feet in the bottoms. I am sure if we had the kahuna's we would have broke the lock and climbed down it, but of course never did.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:59 AM   #14
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How to child proof a culvert.


Willie - that's a real shame about your niece. Sorry to hear that.

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