finding the head of a spring

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by CountryFried, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. CountryFried

    CountryFried Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone out there have experience getting to the source of the creek?
    Our land has a gradual slope up a long holler, There are 3 separate holes that all run down the hill to the widening of the creek. All about 25-40 feet apart. But all in line with one another. Each place has water coming out of it. But I wonder if we should go to the uppermost to see if that is the origination of the spring ? We would like to dig it out and place a springhouse over, maybe even dam up the bottomland and have a pond . Any thoughts?
    Thanks,
    sherry
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Sherry, have you noticed during extremely dry weather or a drought if one of the arteries of the spring have more of a water flow than the other two? The strongest of the flows is the one I would attempt to use. If you distrub it too much the flow may redirest to one of the others so be careful. You could consider digging each of the flows and installing the corrugated perforated sewer drain field pipe (the type with the sock covering) into each and then have all three converging into the spring house. This would permit the spring house to be located on better ground in many instances. You will have to install a drain in the spring house for overflow to exit back into the stream bed created by the spring.
     

  3. CountryFried

    CountryFried Well-Known Member

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    Great !! I'll get my hubby right on it :) I'm sure I'll be right in the mud too- hopefully as it is getting warmer here. 70's tomorrow!
    Thanks very much agmantoo
     
  4. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

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    Yup! First thing I did on the homestead was to develop my water system. The previous owner had hauled a couple bags of concrete mix up the creek and made a "sort of" dam to collect water. I got into this area in late August when the water was at the lowest. Took my old trusty friend John Deere up there and started digging all the slush and gravel out on the creekbed. I discovered three inputs of water into this area. At the time there was NO surface flow upstream and some flow downstream. Yup, A BIG muddy mess!

    Once I had identified where my water was coming from I continued digging and excavated for a dam. At the time the Federal AS****ES flying the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting kept photographing us being bad boys in the creek with John and no permit. Guess they liked the tatoos on nether parts of my hired hand...at any rate didn't hear from them until several years later and only VERY polite inquiries at the time.

    Formed up what I needed and then called for the Misery Wagon (transit mix concrete) to bring me 7 yards of mud. Before it got there I prepared a diversion to drain the upstream area of water...used 4 inch DWV and later simply capped it. That kept the water away from the fresh mud and allowed me to pour the dam. After the forms were stripped I laid in water takeout lines (perforated pipe into a manifold inside the dam) and burried it all in about 40 cu yards of pea gravel. The creek moved gravel, added sand, and simply did its thing. Now it is all completely overgrown again and it is hard to tell I was ever in there.

    Later went on to trench and bury about 1/2 mile of 2 1/2 inch water pipe down to the garden and house areas.

    Later, I was cruising the neighbor's land (he is absentee) and located what I am sure is the source water for what I collect. He has a VERY NICE spring coming out of the hillside well uphill from my dam. Always a mudwallow on the road just below that spring (nobody has legal rights to drive through there, not even the property owner) I hiked up the draw and found the source spring. Very difficult access, but it could be developed into an outstanding water source. Would have to be hand dug...no way to get John in to work. And also would required just bagged concrete to divert water. But I have done nothing since it is on the neighbor's place and he is never around.

    If you have enough water to feed a pond I encourage you to do that. Another neighbor has his house built next to a 1/2 acre impoundment and we spend much time on his deck feeding the fish and snarfing up his grapes (what an arbor). For my own place water is too limited for such a pond, but I am ready to build another 10,000 gal water tank. It is sorely needed to provide water over the dry times in August and Sept. Either the pond or a very large tank will provide water for firefighting, if needed. In my area that is a serious concern.

    Digging out those nasty mudholes can be a lot of work, but the benefits are well worth the effort. If you are as fortunate as me you will end up with abundant gravity fed water. All the 'hoe work and cat work to fill all the trenches and "landscape" it back to a more or less natural configuration was time consuming, but more than worth the effort.

    If I can help further, ask.

    bearkiller
     
  5. CountryFried

    CountryFried Well-Known Member

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    Thanks very much bearkiller- My dad was a bearkiller as well. In the Great SmokeyMnts. He has some stories to tell !!
    Did you have any problems with the water being so muddy you were tempted to put that colored blue stuff in it?? Yck, I told hubby that if we excavated it then sowed it in grass , THEN dammed it up maybe that would at least make it look swimmable.
    That sounds like a good idea about the concrete. We might could get a truck up there when it's good and dry.
    Hubby's landscape co. has a trackhoe and a 45 on tracks. He thinks we could use it to excavate it, dad has a backhoe( If we could get it here).. May have to rent something else. Did you do most of yours with the John Deere?
    Appreciate it.
     
  6. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

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    Countryfried,

    Have no idea what is the blue junk you mention. So NO, I haven't used it. With all the gravel I backfilled behind the dam plus all the sand the creek moved in as well I have an excellent filter bed for my water. The only time it shows any hint of mud is when the creek flows strong after a good rain and there is some hint of clay in it. Whole house filtration at the house, plus an AquaRain filter for drinking water takes care of us.

    Equipment used was John Deere at the dam site and the first 100 yards downstream on the bank to get to 1. water diversion back to the creek for overflow and cleaning the tank. and 2. down to the big tank. Total fall from dam to tank is slight...maybe 20 vertical feet. After this point a friend brought in his chain trencher and we made a nice 30 inch deep X 6 inch wide trench down to the meadow where garden and house is located. Up near the dam the piles of earth were HUGE because the 'hoe moves so much dirt. I filled and graded with a Cat D-8 to return everything to a "nice landscape".

    Wanted a tracked 'hoe, but could not find one at a reasonable price. Ended up with JD wheelhoe and Cat D-8 for less money. Been pleased with both and when it comes time to move dirt, just can't beat and eight. It just flat moves dirt and grunts a bit at times, but if I want it moved, the old girl just says OK, How far?

    As far as the Bruins are concerned, where I live is where CAL FAG dropped off all the "naughty" bears with two yellow ear tags that had caused endless trouble in places like Yosemite. They were moved out for the "protection of the public" and dumped on us. What a pain in the rear...but keeps us in eats, too. (HUGE, HUGE grin!!!!) My neighbor has a large pear orchard that draws every bear for 30 miles. My oh my do we all have fun with that!

    bearkiller
     
  7. CountryFried

    CountryFried Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Sounds great - I guess we'll get started as soon as it drys out some. Thanks for the info. The last bear meat I've had was mighty greasy, but we have deer alot and it is more lean. No happy medium. Happy hunting!