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Searching For A Floodgate That Really Works  RSS feed

 
Cj Sloane
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The other day, I noticed one of the fences crossing a small stream had sort of collapsed into the mud, just like all the others fences crossing water I've made. The bull was standing and drinking right there. If he wanted to duck under a wire and step onto the mud/floatsum covered and half submerged cattle panel he could have. At least he be stepping in a different fenced in paddock.

Anyway, I've been thinking about where to post this question. It's kind of a building question, kind of a critter question, but ultimately I guess it's a [permaculture] design question. If anyone knows an answer to this vexing problem, please post here.

In the mean time, here is a link to a lovely post on the problem by the Contrary Farmer:
Searching For A Floodgate That Really Works

There is nothing so lovely as a pasture field with a creek running through it, but you will pay for it a thousand times over. If you have a pasture, you have livestock grazing there, and so where the creek enters and exits the pasture, you must have fencing decidedly different from what you have on dry land to keep your animals from wading out of the pasture and to keep your neighbor’s animals from wading in. We’ve always called them floodgates. So far as I know, no one has yet invented one that really works without spending a fortune. I was certain, when confronted with the necessity of floodgates, that I could design one that would work without my constant attention. A hundred or so floodgates later, I admitted defeat.
 
james Apodaca
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I do a lot of work in cow pastures with canals on their borders and in the hot Florida Sun those cows absolutely love the water.

Oddly enough, i dont think I've ever paid attention to how the rancher traverses the canal with his fencing.

Next time I visit those particular tower sites I'll snap some pictures and inspect the construction.
 
allen lumley
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Cj : Throw in an active Family of Beavers to make the job a little harder and it still can be Dealt with ! The problem is the solution ! The 1st Question to ask
is why does the fence line Have to go there ?

After that, always pick a section of the creak that is reasonably straight, Curving creaks especially just above your best crossing point will always give you
problems, that snag that has set in the bend for 10 years will suddenly become Flotsam pressing up against your crossing immediately after you spend all
day fixing fence

Whenever possible think bridge weather you build for foot traffic, 4 wheeler, or Harvester, is totally up to you !

I can stand on a bridge, feet dry, in February, and use a long handled potato hook to remove the floating crap that if not removed regularly will destroy my
fencing !

A couple simple terms Raparian Repair, Rip-Rap ! Gabion Baskets Great big baskets to fill with stone and stabilize the shoreline and provide a base for the
bridge decking this can be as simple as pallets and Cedar poles

With 2 Gabion Baskets per stream side and Cobble Stone hand laid Wings of Rip-rap up above and below the crossing point it is possible to have string a
fence up at that point that will stand for years with a few hours a season needed for crap caught in the wire ! And not whole days wading in the flood trying
to find a stable bottom

Medium sized creaks can be dealt with with culvert sections, often the ends of culvert sections get driven over and crushed, the remainder is fit for 4 wheelers

Often used leaking 500 gal fuel tanks are repurposed to make culverts and dead hot water heaters that have ceramic or Epoxy coatings on the inside can be
cut up to make good short culvert sections

For large creeks a car body is totally striped out /burned out, the doors are removed ( extra points for using a car body with a 'B' pillar just behind the
drivers/ passengers head mostly 4 door cars ! This car body is then set on top of the Gabions, and makes the base of the bridge, often the roof of the
passenger cabin is driven down to the height of the hood trunk lids and a steep but dry crossing of the creak and fence maintenance can be done from the
seat of a 4 wheeler

It gets a little harder when you have to deal with Beaver too but The true goal here is to give you nearly year-round access to your fence line to prevent minor
problems from escalating to work plans that span days

And yes I have laid miles of Rip-rap and enough Gabion baskets To block off a four lane highway ! And before Beaver fencing to protect culverts I bow to no-one
for removing Beaver dams ! Only dynamite is faster !

For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL
 
R Scott
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If the problem is the solution, what does that mean? Don't fence the stock? Don't fence across the creek? Dam the river?. The solution probably is to fix the water holding so you don't get floodwaters, but until then...

There are two basic solutions around here. Either a super stout welded pipe structure or a breakaway fence, built with a "fuse" to let go before the rest of the wire breaks-kind of like the old wire gates before people got lazy and put hinged tube gates everywhere.
 
Cj Sloane
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james Apodaca wrote:...i dont think I've ever paid attention to how the rancher traverses the canal with his fencing.


I don't have to cross the creek, just have to keep the livestock fenced in! Mostly this consists of cows, but at various times sheep and or pigs are involved. If you meant "how does the fencing cross the canal" that'd be interesting though I'm not sure if it's applicable to my situation. I wouldn't be surprised if the posts for the fence were somehow built into the canal.

In this particular spot, it's just a small creek that runs all but 2 weeks/year. When the water is high, it's fine but if the water is low, they could easily go under the fence.
 
Cj Sloane
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allen lumley wrote:The 1st Question to askis why does the fence line Have to go there ?


It IS possible my premise was wrong. I wanted the fence there so that I wouldn't have to provide water. It may be easier to have a landlocked paddock and pipe in water but I have a problem with that too.

About 50 feet above my paddocks, there is a small section of this creek that has a 6" "dam" with 3" pex in the dam. This provides all the water I need for my livestock for all but 2-4 weeks/year. It tends to dry up sometime during the summer or early fall.

We've talked about this a little before, Alan. Here's a pic:

Dam></a>

The problem is that the pipe often fills with gunk. I have a screen on the intake but the gunk is fine sediment that can easily pass thru that. For this reason, my husband insists it needs a section or two that can be easily split. Those splits (those grey barbed things) often break tho, leaving me/the animals with no water. I keep wondering if there is a solution to that problem? I've thought about maybe using a 55 gallon rain barrel with an outlet 6" off the bottom to trap the sediment on the bottom. But maybe there will be too much turbulence with the incoming water to let the sediment settle???
 
Cj Sloane
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R Scott wrote:
There are two basic solutions around here. Either a super stout welded pipe structure or a breakaway fence, built with a "fuse" to let go before the rest of the wire breaks-kind of like the old wire gates before people got lazy and put hinged tube gates everywhere.


I don't suppose you have a pic of something like that?
 
Joe Braxton
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Cj, is it possible to enlarge the basin behind the dam?

A larger area for the water to collect in would allow it to settle a bit, combined with an overflow to the pipe inlet would probably help with the sediment. The inlet should probably be to the side of the main flow to minimize damage in flood events. Then you could concentrate on having enough capacity in the pasture to carry you through the dry weeks. Then you could move the fence out of the water.
 
Joe Braxton
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I believe this is what R Scott was talking about..

Can't seem to put an image in so....

http://www.albemarle.org/upload/images/forms_center/departments/Community_Development/forms/Engineering_and_WPO_Forms/Floodplain_Fencing_info_sheet.pdf
 
Cj Sloane
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Joe Braxton wrote:Cj, is it possible to enlarge the basin behind the dam?


No, it's not that kind of a dam. Look at the pic I posted above. The "basin" holds about 25 gallons & it's just a natural depression in the rocks of the creek. For 11 months of the year that's all I need because water is constantly coming in.

The fencing is a different spot.
 
Cj Sloane
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So here's a pic of a fence crossing a stream that's working for me and a fence that's not:
Fence higher up.JPG
[Thumbnail for Fence higher up.JPG]
Working
Fence across creek.JPG
[Thumbnail for Fence across creek.JPG]
Not working
Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 11.15.52 AM.png
[Thumbnail for Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 11.15.52 AM.png]
Breakaway example from Joe's link
 
Cj Sloane
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According to that post from the Contrary Farmer, the land where the post are slowly gets eroded away till they fall over. I guess the good thing about that design is that it doesn't drag the rest of the fence along when it does fall over, I hadn't considered that!
 
R Scott
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Joe Braxton wrote:I believe this is what R Scott was talking about..

Can't seem to put an image in so....

http://www.albemarle.org/upload/images/forms_center/departments/Community_Development/forms/Engineering_and_WPO_Forms/Floodplain_Fencing_info_sheet.pdf


Yes it was. Thanks. Usually here, one or both of those posts aren't in the ground at all. They are tied to the main fence with baling wire or something else that is definitely the weak link.

The cattle panel swing gate works if there is no debris in the flow, but simple verticals like example 2 work better to let branches and debris flow through. They need a bit of weight to them to give a little resistance to the nose, and a hot spark that won't ground out the rest of the fence in higher water.
 
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