Cluttered Culverts

April 30, 2009

Whenever there’s a heavy rain, our bottom pasture floods because the creek gets out of bounds.  It probably wouldn’t do it so much if it weren’t for the fact the creek goes under a road right past our bottom pasture. 

There are two culverts under that road, and they collect debris.  After the last hard rain, I decided to go down and take a peek.  The neighbors living past the bridge have a pack of dogs.  Three of them watched me approach.

Dogs On Bridge

Toby as usual, totally ignored them.  He seems to think they are beneath his notice, and he doesn’t even bother looking at them, let alone barking at them.

Once we got on the bridge, I looked down the creek flowing alongside our bottom pasture.

Creek flowing beside our bottom pasture.

It had been a while since it rained, so the water was almost totally clear again.  I walked past the bridge and went down alongside the creek to see what kind of debris was clogging up the culverts upstream.

Debris In Culverts

It doesn’t look too bad until you look a little closer.  Here’s a close-up of the culvert on the left:

Log blocking culvert.

And here’s a close-up of the culvert on the right:

Logs blocking culvert.

After seeing what kind of debris was clogging up the culvert upstream, I went to the other side to see what it looked like from the downstream side, which is the part bordering our bottom pasture.

Water coming out the downstream side of the culverts.

From a ways off, it really doesn’t look like there’s much of a problem, does it?  But when I got down to where I could take pictures a little closer-up, you can see how the water flow is restricted.

Here’s the culvert that had the single log across it on the upstream side:

Log blocking water flow through culvert.

As you can see, it was a bit deceiving seeing just that one log across the mouth of the culvert on the other side.  There’s a whole lot more debris underneath it that is also blocking the flow of water.

I couldn’t get a straight-through shot of the other culvert, but you can see it has some pretty big tree parts in it!

Large tree parts blocking flow of water through culvert.

It’s no wonder when the rain is heavy, the stream overflows because the culverts are blocked, and goes over the top of the road.

Flood waters over road.

And of course, when the creek backs up and floods over the road, it also backs up into our bottom pasture:

Flood waters in bottom pasture.

We have electric fencing around that pasture, and every time it floods, it needs repaired.  However, since we’ve downsized and don’t have so many animals, we don’t have to worry about it because we’re not using it for grazing space.

Instead, we’re letting it grow up wild again.  When we first moved here, there were all kinds of wildflowers like Joe Pye Weed and Cardinal Flower in that area, along with Button Bushes and other good habitat for wildlife.

Hopefully, there will be lots of flowers grow there this summer, and we’ll see lots of butterflies!

Leave a Comment: