Building a dam

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Joe in MO, Nov 6, 2004.

  1. Joe in MO

    Joe in MO Active Member

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    We have a small creek in back of our place and I was thinking of building a dam to irragate my garden which I plan to put right next to it. Does anyone have any ideas of building a dam? What would be the right materials: rock, concrete? Any and all additional suggestions would be very appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Joe
     
  2. GrannieD

    GrannieD Well-Known Member

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    Missouri Ozarks
    You may find that the tame little creek is a roaring river when the rains come & your dam would dissappear down the way...Ours is quiet & we wouldn't be able to build anything that would stay in during high water..sometimes as often as a couple times a month...It would make a path around, over the ground where your tilled soft dirt garden is (was) & you wouldn't be very happy....Its my guess...from 20 years of watching our creeks & branches..better to have a pond dug that may catch some rain water to store & just deal with getting it to hold water...Good luck GrannieD
     

  3. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    Around here they use an irrigation dam. There ia a ditch at the top of the field full of water. Take an orange tarp and wrap it around a lodgepole and wire it. Then lay it across the ditch where ever you want water. The ditch backs up and flows over the top and into the field. Or it flows into normally dry ditches to go to other parts of the field. It would be easy to divert into your garden, then pull out the dam when done watering.

    Or go buy a beaver.
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Around here, only beavers can legaly dam up a natural stream without big uncles permission.
     
  5. TXlightningbug

    TXlightningbug Well-Known Member

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    Hi, Joe,
    First, check with your County Ag Agent and County Water Commission (or whatever they're called) to see if you can have permission to dam the creek.

    Second, get a topography map and make sure that a dam won't send the next heavy flooding rain into your house.

    Third, rethink the idea. Would it be better and easier to simply pipe water in from the creek with a small pump to a garden site further away from the creek due to flooding possibilities? This may also require permission from the County to do.

    Fourth, if there is no County or State control over the water rights, hash the idea out with the County Ag Agent. He might have a better idea.

    TXlightningbug :yeeha:
     
  6. TXlightningbug

    TXlightningbug Well-Known Member

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    Hi, Joe,
    First, check with your County Ag Agent and County Water Commission (or whatever they're called) to see if you can have permission to dam the creek.

    Second, get a topography map and make sure that a dam won't send the next heavy flooding rain into your house.

    Third, rethink the idea. Would it be better and easier to simply pipe water in from the creek with a small pump to a garden site further away from the creek due to flooding possibilities? This may also require permission from the County to do.

    Fourth, if there is no County or State control over the water rights, hash the idea out with the County Ag Agent. He might have a better idea.

    TXlightningbug :yeeha:
     
  7. KRH

    KRH Resident Wino

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    SW Mich
    You could dig a small pond next to the stream. Then pipe an inlet and outlet from the stream. You could valve the inlet to control the water level in the pond if you wanted. Also the inflow of fresh water will keep the pond from getting stagnant.
     
  8. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    One day's work for a trackhoe and large dump truck to relocate the dirt to where you want it dumped would put you in a nice little creek fed pond. Then pump to garden from there. Pump itself can be at garden with just a feedline to the pond.

    Rule of thumb is a well built and maintained pond will add three times its cost to property value.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  9. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    First off is it a Creek or a Spring? I have a Spring but everyone around here calls it a Creek including my Wife.It runs into a Creek.

    We can Dam the Spring but not the Creek,because of an endangerd Darter.

    If it is a Spring get a hold of your local Dozer Man,get an estiment,see what he say.Make you a Pond Stock it with Fish and Water your Garden.

    big rockpile
     
  10. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    MN
    Natural waterways are owned by the state or USA govt. You are not allowed to touch them. Unless you have a long list of permits.

    Dug ditches are owned (by easement) typically by the county, and they tax people to maintain them.

    There are a lot of people both up & downstream that are majorly affected ny a dam - even a little one. You could be liable for a lot of damage.

    Unless this water starts on your own property, don't even think about it!

    If it does start on your property, give it a lot of thought, as you are still bound by the above laws, and if any tile backs up or anyone downstream gets flooded during a heavy rain, you will be the target of lawsuits.

    Building a dam is a good way to become the black-sheep of the neighborhood. Water flow is enough of a tough issue in neighborhoods. I wouldn't want to make it worse.

    Technically you are not allowed to withdraw or use any of the water either. If you are quiet about it it might slip by, but don't be too surprised of someone comes knocking when they see a hose sticking out of the stream.

    I might sound harsh, but this is a real big issue, it is a real bad idea to go messing with a waterway. Just how it is. A tiny change can really affect a lot of people - we don't realize how intricate a water drainage system is. A lot of the water systems in this country are cronicly either too dry or too wet, and any individual who does some changes will be in _real_ deep water when they are found out.... Those above you will blame you for too much water, and those below will blame you for too dry.

    --->Paul
     
  11. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    rambler I have a feeling he has a large Spring like mine.If he does there is nothing they can do.His main problem will be getting the Dam to hold water with the soil we have around here.

    big rockpile