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  1. #1
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Default Cleaning out a blocked culvert...how?

    In my neighborhood we have a half acre pond on conservation land that originally drained through a culvert under a road then into some local ditches and eventually to the sea. At some point in the past the culvert got blocked, the ditches filled in and now when the pond overflows it follows and destroys a dirt road annually on a more direct path to the ocean. Obviously the old drainage system needs to be reestablished. Re digging the ditch is pretty straightforward. The culvert is about 2 feet in diameter and about 25 feet long. It is corrugated metal. It's blocked at both ends with soil pretty much completely. What is the best way to clear it?

    I've thought of using a pressure washer or a hose with a long copper pipe to try to flush out a small channel from one end to the other large enough to pass a lead line then chain. If I can do that I'd think of putting a small metal disc on the end of the chain and then use the tractor to pull that back through to open up at least a 6-10 inch tunnel. Would that be enough so that once water flow started again it would self clean? I should mention that at the moment the pond is bone dry so it is easy to access both sides of the culvert but that will change in the next month or so with winter rains.

    Any secrets to clearing mud/dirt filled culverts?

  2. #2
    Gold Member meadowlarkponds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning out a blocked culvert...how?

    I've had that problem several times and have always been able to unblock it with a small back-hoe attachment. The blockage is usually right at the front entrance to the culvert and by digging all that out, the next good rain just flushes out the remaining stuff that is inside the culvert. In my case, there usually isn't much actually inside and it is mostly just outside the entrance. If I didn't have access to the back-hoe, a shovel and some hard work would accomplish the same thing....but this works because the debris is mostly outside the culvert and once you get a flow going the water will clean it out better than anything.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning out a blocked culvert...how?

    I haven't actually explored the culvert so that is a possibility. I noted however that both sides were blocked so I kinda assumed the middle was also involved. I'll get out a shovel and try. I have a BH but the culvert is too small to get at with machinery.

  4. #4
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning out a blocked culvert...how?

    When the culvert across my road gets blocked it is almost always blocked at both ends but open in the middle. The little that is in the middle comes out when you open the ends, just make sure you dig the downstream end deep enough to take care of an junk that may wash out of the tube.
    I can't control my day but I can control my attitude.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member BTDT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning out a blocked culvert...how?

    I had to dig mine out (concrete culverts, 5' long). I couldn't understand why water wasn't draining. Culvert was about 1/2 visible on each side of drive, but water standing on one side wouldn't drain. I pushed a piece of fence toprail all the way in as far as I could get it to go. Dug/cleaned out opening with shovel (from each side of road), water still wouldn't drain. Wifes uncle borrowed a neighbors john deere with a front end loader, and I started digging. Come to find out, (now get this), there were two rows of culverts ,three five footers in first row, 3 five footers in second row, I had been cleaning out one end of 1st row, then when I swapped sides of road, I was cleaning out end of 2nd row. After we got them dug out and hauled off, we put a single piece of 12" galvenized culvert back in the hole and covered back up. Drains good now. Hope you have better luck.
    Praise is not something you do to get closer to God, praise is a response to God being close to you.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: Cleaning out a blocked culvert...how?

    I wonder if the high pressure from a volunteer fire department pumper
    truck would be of help to clean a culvert. Might cost small donation, but
    might be worth it. elad

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning out a blocked culvert...how?

    I work for a GC.. While we now use a water jetter to clear culverts.. inthe old day we had 'the long shovel'

    As the name implies it was a spade shovel head welded to a 15' or 20' pipe.

    It was grueling.. and took a few ment to run.. but DID work.

    in your case.. a 15' one will do. and work it from both sides.

    Get a stout pipe.. weld a shovel head on, and then if you like.. hang a counter ballance on the open end. once you get some o fthe obstruction cleared.. if you have access to any high pressure water.. even a pressure washer .. you can start jetting some o fthe debri through.

    for tougher areas I've seen more drastic thing go.. like taking a big diameter steel pipe.. say.. 1' diameter, and 2' long and welding one end closed, and then welding a chain across the front of it and then link to that chain, another longer chain.

    A long thin pole is used to push a string / clothesline rope thru the blocked culvert.. that string is used to pull the chain thru to one side.. wher ethe chain is then hooke dto something big.. like a bulldozer.. which then creeps off.. pulling a 'dirt piston' out with it...

    the closer the metal pipe size is to the culvert size, the better.

    You can also have a chain welded on the rear of the closed end, and leave it trailing out the rear of the pipe in case of massive blockage that simple won't let you pull any more forward, then you can pull your metal bucket back out and empty it and got at it again.. etc..

    Soundguy

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor
    In my neighborhood we have a half acre pond on conservation land that originally drained through a culvert under a road then into some local ditches and eventually to the sea. At some point in the past the culvert got blocked, the ditches filled in and now when the pond overflows it follows and destroys a dirt road annually on a more direct path to the ocean. Obviously the old drainage system needs to be reestablished. Re digging the ditch is pretty straightforward. The culvert is about 2 feet in diameter and about 25 feet long. It is corrugated metal. It's blocked at both ends with soil pretty much completely. What is the best way to clear it?

    I've thought of using a pressure washer or a hose with a long copper pipe to try to flush out a small channel from one end to the other large enough to pass a lead line then chain. If I can do that I'd think of putting a small metal disc on the end of the chain and then use the tractor to pull that back through to open up at least a 6-10 inch tunnel. Would that be enough so that once water flow started again it would self clean? I should mention that at the moment the pond is bone dry so it is easy to access both sides of the culvert but that will change in the next month or so with winter rains.

    Any secrets to clearing mud/dirt filled culverts?

  8. #8
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: Cleaning out a blocked culvert...how?

    Thanks guys, I will try the simple solutions first and hope I don't need to get Soundguy's bulldozer involved.

  9. #9
    Super Member
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    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Cleaning out a blocked culvert...how?

    I sort of wonder with this being a conservation pond with a culvert under a public road that is clogged and washing out a public access road why not call the local road people. Sounds like something the city/county would be responsible for.

    MarkV

  10. #10
    Platinum Member bjcsc's Avatar
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    Johns Island, SC
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    JD 5225, JD 555B

    Default Re: Cleaning out a blocked culvert...how?

    Quote Originally Posted by elad
    I wonder if the high pressure from a volunteer fire department pumper
    truck would be of help to clean a culvert. Might cost small donation, but
    might be worth it. elad
    Funny, that was my first thought as well...

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