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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to build a retaining wall along the bank of a small lake to stop erosion and to reclaim some land. I have a bunch of telephone polls, and was wondering if I could lay them flat and use "T" post to hold them up. We are only going up about 4 feet. The wall will be in water about a foot or so, so I can not dig holes to set posts. Any thoughts?
 

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A 4' high retaining wall supported by t-posts? Maybe if you put one every 6 inches or foot along the wall, but otherwise that would be failure in the making.

A section of one of the telephone poles every 8 or 10 feet, embedded 4 to 8 feet below the bottom of the wall, depending on the retained material and the embedment material, would probably work. 4 inch steel pipes every 4 to 6 feet, driven 6 to 8 feet below the bottom of the wall, might also be adequate, again depending on the retained and embedment soils.
 

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We gonna need more information, Where is this lake, and are you allowed to mess with it?

Most waterways in the U S, are regulated by the Army Corp of Engineers, and we need permission from them, even on our own property.

And if we do anything without their OK, we will get fined for it.

Now for your question, NO! T posts are too puny, you need something substantial to support a wall.

Being in OIL country, I suggest that you get some discarded Drill Pipe,
and " Pile Drive" a 12' length into the ground 8' deep, leaving 4' exposed, around 8' apart.
then tie your Telephone poles to them.

This Drill Pipe, is not your regular "BOX" store pipe, it has very thick walls, to be almost solid posts, and weigh close to 80 # per foot. At 4" diameter.

So strengthen your pile posts, and go deep enough to be stable.


ED
 

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The T posts might suffice to keep the bottom pole from sliding or rolling into the lake, and then placing the other poles on top and behind, like stair steps. Again, depending on the retained soil, you could possibly go as steep as 1 to 1 (45 degrees), maybe a little steeper if you're backfilling with crushed rock.
 

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Most waterways in the U S, are regulated by the Army Corp of Engineers, and we need permission from them, even on our own property.

I should of thought of that, we deal with COE all the time, and de-nagorg is definitely correct. Pretty much all natural lakes are "Waters of the US" (if your "lake" is a private reservoir, you'll have to deal with the owner, which can sometimes be worse), and the areas around them are most of the time designated as wetlands, both of which the feds are very particular about keeping as they are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have already got the clearance to use the telephone poles. It is a private lake in the mid west. I will only be holding back about a foot or two of water, but the waves can splash another foot or two. Main thing I'm trying to do is reclaim land that has been washed away with the waves beating against the shore.
 

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Duplicate thread
https://www.diychatroom.com/f19/lake-front-retaining-wall-687055/

was wondering if I could lay them flat and use "T" post to hold them up
I'm not an expert on embankments, but here's what I'm picturing. You want to lay 40' long telephone poles down on their side. They are tapered, probably not consistently uniform. You could lay them alternating top-to-bottom, but there will be gaps. Your shoreline is probably longer than 40', but you can't overlap them because of the taper. Your shoreline is probably not perfectly straight either, so you'd have to dig/fill.

So you will still have washout unless you ***** them. You will need to pile drive any vertical reinforcement, which requires heavy equipment.
 

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If you've had erosion from wave action, you'll need a geosynthetic fabric made for erosion control, which will need to extend several feet below the water line to above the maximum wave height and be topped with riprap or something else that can't be washed away for the entire extent of the fabric.
 

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try as you may it will eventually wash away unless you install a bulkhead. These are very expensive and require heavy equipment to jet the telephone poles into vertically the soil a good 10'.Then cedar planking is jetted in vertically between the poles which have been tied together with horizontal timbers. Please Google it.
 
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