Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A big rain and a new year about to begin...

Our first year in this house, so far as move-in is concerned, is January 15, 2017.  As you can tell from the blog posts, a lot of work has gone into making our home and the property more finished and functional.  To be sure, there is more to do: finishing the bougainvillea bed and fountain, adding more pegboard in the garages, overseeding the grass in our "turf" areas, and creating trails and social spaces in our woods.

Yesterday morning we had very intense rain.  It rained at a rate of one inch (2.54 cm) per hour for two hours.  This was approximately the same rate as we experienced last spring, but it only lasted a couple of hours instead of 20 hours.  This was by far the biggest test for our landscape engineering, and I was curious to see how well our combination of bullrock-work and French drains worked.  The pictures which follow are shown in time-lapse order.  Note that we would have standing water for at least two or three days prior to doing our hardscape work.

One can see that the "dry creek bed" is flowing water which is draining from
the culvert (upper center) and our property area to the left.  The flow is slowed
which causes pooling as the bed turns into the drain channel (center right). The
water coming from the driveway to the left and through the front grove is
pooling as the drains and the pipe are completely in overflow condition.

The picture was taken just a few minutes after the rain subsided to a
very light drizzle.  The culvert area is clearing and water levels are receding.

This picture was taken about five minutes after the previous photo..While the
drain channel (center right) is still full, the water is receding rapidly.

Another five minutes, and the standing water in the lower left is almost gone,
and pooling in the dry creek bed is more isolated.  The purpose of the dry creek
bed is to slow the water passing through it, which reduces the impact of erosion.
The French drains are capturing the water which would build up in the area
between the front grove of trees, the grass, and the driveway.  It is draining so
well because we used six-inch diameter pipe instead of the standard four-inch
pipe.  This gives us a little over twice the volume over a standard install and
is highly effective for us.

Ten more minutes have passed, and the standing water is all but gone.  The
drain channel is significantly lower, also.  Prior to this effort, we would have had
standing water for two or three days after the rains stopped, and it would be
soggy for a couple of days thereafter.  We are at the above state 30 minutes after
the rain relented.  Today, I was walking in the area and not getting muddy.