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How should I deal with rain water on dirt roads in steep mountains?

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Where I live there are dirt roads / trails that where built with a dozer. The mountains are pretty steep so the roads where made with switch backs.

The roads are cut so that the water that hits the road goes towards slope and into the hard bedrock cut. This is to keep run off away from the soft shoulder where the road spoils where deposited.

At the end of a switch back there is a swale dumping the water out over a steep slope or into a small steep canyon.

Is there a better way to slow or store the water?

I would like to avoid pipes and small catch basins as these could require maintenance (WORK) or could be prone to blocking and backing up in severe storms and then have to be rebuilt ( MORE WORK!).

Is was thinking of swales to retention basins (ponds) but this would require a lot of earth work and then I would be concerned about them blowing out and creating mini land slide.

I am currently a semi employed "awesome heavy equipment operator" and would love to be able to learn and work with Sepp at the Loma Mar, California event
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Location: Montana
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It is impossible to give a good answer without seeing the site in person. You must take not of where the water is coming from, where it is going, and how it gets there. When roads are built the right way, on ridges, it is very easy to properly work with the water that lands on them.

How the roads are built? Are there chemicals or salts used on the road in winter? Where is the water coming from? Where is it going? Where does it naturally stay? These are the questions to ask. Watch the water and how it moves and you will have your answer.

Judith, Johnny, Zach, and Chad - Team Holzer AgroEcology
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