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Tim Canton
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So I just bought a new house and I am trying to get the the scene set up for the garden etc. I am putting gutters on the house so rain barrel collection is an option (asphalt shingles though?)
I also have a small creek/stream running through the property. When I say small, about 2-3 foot wide and a few inches deep. SO I could pump from the stream and run the down spout into the stream??

Any thoughts on this ??

I was also told I have spring heads in a general area but I have no clue what look for or what to do if I found one?
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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Diverting the first portion of the rain away from the rain barrel should help a lot. The illustration is a cartoon I happened to have sitting around, of an automatic first-flush system: the float on the right pulls down on the section of gutter, tilting it toward a waste container. As the water level in this rises, it lifts up the float, tipping the section of gutter toward the rain barrel on the left. Ideally, the waste container would drain about as fast as the roof became dirty.

Another option might be to set up a rain garden with a mulch pit. Innoculating the mulch pit with oyster mushroom spawn would help to break down anything harmful from the asphalt.

It's probably a better idea in the long term to work with gravity, if possible. If any portion of your growing space sits below the uphill portion of the stream bed, that would be a great irrigation option. If it is a seasonal stream, then a small pond fed by it could be of great value.
first_flush.PNG
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Paul Cereghino
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Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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4 diconnected thoughts...

With some kind of hose or pipe in a high point in a stream or diversion pool, you can gain around 2.5 PSI per foot of drop like a siphon and have pressurized water (I have seen mile long hoses in developing country servicing far away neighbors from a single stream.

There are likely patterns of ground water associated with the stream that create a variety of moist microhabitats.  Soil color can indicate the pattern and frequency of soil saturation (research "redoximorphic features"

This is illegal in most states without withdrawal rights.  It is quite possible that you actually don't own the water running across the land rights which you have purchased.

Consider that you and your neighbors are now stewards of running water, the life blood of the earth, and that what you take from the stream and put in the stream has the potential for broad and cumulative effects.  (Soap? Nutrients? Heat? Toxics?).
 
Tim Canton
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Thanks you guys.  I appreciate the info.

Paul  I checked in with the ag extension office and they said if the water runs through my property I can use it for irrigation.  However am I doing damage to the system by taking from it?  Altering the flow in any way is apparently a different story where I need to deal with soil conservancy in the county.  I mean I have well water on the property I can also use as well as potentially rain barrels but I have issue with flow from the house to garden area...  I figured if clean the water would be much healthier and full of nutrients  but I obviously want no harm done.

The house sits about 12-15 up a hill from the water so any flow not contained is gonna enter the water way  and I need to stay at least 10 ft off my house because we already have moisture issues.  I am left with only a few feet and disturbing that would disturb the bank.

Perhaps I just need to sit with land in rain and shine and see what it has to say.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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organick wrote:
Thanks you guys.  I appreciate the info.

Paul  I checked in with the ag extension office and they said if the water runs through my property I can use it for irrigation.  However am I doing damage to the system by taking from it?   Altering the flow in any way is apparently a different story where I need to deal with soil conservancy in the county.   I mean I have well water on the property I can also use as well as potentially rain barrels but I have issue with flow from the house to garden area...  I figured if clean the water would be much healthier and full of nutrients  but I obviously want no harm done.

The house sits about 12-15 up a hill from the water so any flow not contained is gonna enter the water way   and I need to stay at least 10 ft off my house because we already have moisture issues.  I am left with only a few feet and disturbing that would disturb the bank.

Perhaps I just need to sit with land in rain and shine and see what it has to say.


From all that, it sounds as though the stream is fed partially by groundwater, and using it for irrigation will mostly tend to even out the flow of it over the course of each year. Slowing storm runoff is typically a very, very good thing. You might like to read up on the topic: depending on your style, I'd recommend either something on the role that beavers played in US ecosystems prior to fur trapping, or the design system of P. A. Yeomans. If you enjoy both nature and technology, you might want to read both.

If you over-fertilize, there could be some harm from nutrients leaching into the groundwater or the stream. Most of the methods advocated on this forum are intended to keep soil organic matter high enough to avoid that sort of problem.

The same sorts of methods that delay water and allow living things to use it, also delay dissolved nutrients/wastes and allow living things to clean them up. Potentially, nitrogen/phosphorus pollution from uphill will be filtered out on your property, benefiting you a little and the stream, a lot.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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i suggest always using gravity where ever possible, which means to have your garden down from your water source for gravity to work..which might mean water colleciton off of a roof somewhere.

also i love soaker hoses..they are gentle and don't spread any diseases like sprinklers do when they splash.

i have soaker hoses all over, but try to not have to water.

better to use lots of mulch and organic material that holds water like a hugel bed, etc..which cuts the need for water, but if you have the $ for the soaker hoses, bury them just under the surface of your bed or under your mulch, and you'll be glad you did.
 
Tim Canton
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Thank you all and I wanted to revisit this topic a little with new questions.

Like i said before I have both roof water and some groundwater to work with.  I was thinking about trying to put a rather small pond in as a way of holding it longer before it enters the drainage.  I have a sloped property so that is one issue, the second issue being the area i would like to put it is pretty close to the existing drainage and I dont want a potential huge mess if something didnt work.  There is another spot that already collects a decent amount of water but its the bottom of my property......meaning  its a decent run to get the water there and I have to pump it back up hill if I want to use it  (which is not necessary).

So  2 questions...does anyone have good info or sites for pond building,  specifically on sloped ground if possible.

Second being is this even the best approach  or should I be slowing water higher up in the already existing drainage and just allow a percentage off the roof water to work its way back to the drainage itself?    Any ideas or info on doing this safely/effectively?    Again the water at its highest is a few inches but in runs pretty well and has steady flow.

Blessings
 
                      
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Location: Spearfish SD
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How fast does your stream move? Have you looked into a Ram pump? They sell commercial ones, but there are plans out there to build one. I built a paddle wheel to over come my irrigation issues. I live on totally flat ground so I pump my water in to a 500 gal tank about 15 feet in the air. www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZJW8iNOY
The wheel I build for a couple hundred bucks, and will pump water 35ft straight up. Depending on your situation you could build a small wheel to suite you.  Let me know if you have any specific question about the wheel (the video has no narration) www.pangeafarm.com
 
Paul Cereghino
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Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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If you concentrate water at a point (pond), then if it overflows you have concentrated flow... so you need to start managing this to prevent erosion.  Mollison describes back and forth swales slightly off contour with controlled overflow and the down end, so that water moves slowly back and forth across slope percolating the best it can.  I once saw an ingenious down drain, where a gully was stuffed full of willow branches and then partailly buried.  They all rooted and shooted but the spaces between the self-sustaining drain transported water downhill without erosion.  The two ideas could be combined.

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