I actually did it.

I had started last year, but got distracted with other things (chickens I think) and never finished my plan to dig a ditch to carry water away from the coop yard. I today finished it by taking it along the side yard to the tractor bridge and then another meter or so to where the woodland ditch/depression is.

Fortunately there was enough water in the ground that it drained and I could see the water seek the lower ground as I went. Finally it was complete and now I just need a good rainstorm to smooth out the cusps that the edge of the shovel made.

The entire thing was about 33 meters long, give or take a couple. Fortunately the tractor bridge, though it looks like crap, was well done with some aluminum siding laid down underneath it to prevent weeds from growing up it. I would still like to make a better one, but I live with what I have (or try to). When I got the new trench to the one end of the bridge, the water immediately flowed through to the other side, so I could pick up digging again.

While digging I managed to discover three buried pipes:

  1. The outlet of the “dry well” overflow
  2. The old water line to the neighbors, recently discontinued.
  3. An unknown additional pipe. Mystery!

I do not know how many calories I burned, but I did something that’s been needing to be done for many years now. Additionally, it’s something off my list.

I am going to have to see in the future how dry the land behind the coop gets, if it is going to become “normal” and be seedable and mowable, or if it will still be a damp spot. For years stuff got dumped there, ostensibly for “storage”, but sat in the wetness so long even heavy plastic decayed. There was even an old railroad tie back there that had thoroughly rotted, in spite of the creosoting they get.

There are three main sources of the swamp water, and they are all point sources:

  1. The runoff of the shop roof (maybe 4 m × 6.5 m)
  2. The runoff of the coop roof (maybe 3.5 m × 3.5 m) + half of the laundry room roof (about 4 m × 2.4 m)
  3. The outlet of the cellar sump pump (Intermittent, a guess of 1 GPM every 30 minutes, so ~50 GPD?)

Ideally I’d have them all empty into little channels and drain to the new ditch, which would then drain them into the woods. We shall see if that ever happens.

I’ve thought of having the dounspout from the shop roof empty into a bug tub for the cycens to drink from, but I am worried it will become contaminated with parasites or MOSKITOES! Come to think of it, the new ditch should reduce (slightly) the number of the little offenders near the coop because the stagnant water will now dreign away.

I got some splashes of mud on me, so I guess spring is officially open now. If nothing else more snow is unlikely and the ground should be warm to stay.


One thought on “Ditch!

  1. Pingback: When the weather gets warm… | FlowCoef

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