Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dry Streambeds

In the last post, I talked about how the terraced beds we created were not enough to manage the run-off water we get from neighbors in heavy rains. The problem begins on the backside of the fence shown in the picture below. Although his house is not visible in this picture, the neighbor on the other side of the fence has the highest spot in the area. He has a dry streambed directed toward this fence, which, over time, has rotted out the bottom of his fence. The water flows onto our property at the top of our garden, approximately where the utility box can be seen . 

The former owner of our house installed a catch basin in this area with a drainage pipe that  runs underground to a location at the back part of the yard.  This was a good idea and usually takes care of the problem, but in heavy rains, the catch basin overflows. To take care of this problem, we installed a dry streambed to take the excess water down the slope in a more controlled way.

As you can see from this picture, the streambed makes a turn toward the fence and disappears behind shrubs.

We did a similar thing in the side yard to direct run-off from the neighbor's driveway toward the street. Water collects in a low spot between the neighbor's house and ours (assisted by a berm that Jack created) and then enters a dry streambed in the area shown below.

This dry streambed snakes around a tree in our front garden.

Then it makes another curve, discharging water into the side lawn area, then down to the street.
We just finished the last section of this streambed this summer and have had almost no rain since. Consequently, we don't know for sure whether the discharge from the stream will stay to the side lawn as we hope. We will be closely watching this area throughout the winter and if we find low places that allow the water to flow toward the lawn rather than down the hill, we will mark those places. Then, in the spring, we will lift the sod there and create a slight berm to encourage the water to flow toward the street.

I have found doing this work ourselves to be very satisfying (Jack might disagree . . . ), and I really don't mind that it takes us a longer time to get a finished product. Being amateurs, we seldom get it perfectly right on the first attempt and have to do subsequent tweaking. By my calculations, we will finish all our garden projects, about the time we're ready for the retirement home. But, for gardeners, that might be perfect timing!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated and will appear as soon as they are approved.