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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    15
    Location
    Northwest Georgia
    Tractor
    Kioti CK30

    Default Drainage Ditches

    I have to maintain the drainage ditches on the sides of my gravel driveway to prevent them from growing wider and cutting into the driveway. I am looking at approximately 400' of ditches that need work so it's not a small job in my opinion. Is a loader or backhoe in my future to maintain the ditches or would it be best to bury drainage pipe and be done with it? If I go with plastic drainage pipe, wouldn't a tractor crush it if it's only buried a foot deep? Would rocks (the size they use on lake shorelines) be a better choice? Other suggestions?

    Thanks in advance for helping a newcomer to this board.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,518
    Location
    Indiana
    Tractor
    BX 23

    Default Re: Drainage Ditches

    I have 4 inch corrugated pipe buried under about 6 inches of rock, and have driven over it with my 23 and not crushed it. The pipe gives but does not break and the gravel kind of supports it. If you cover it with dirt and let it go back to hard, you will have no trouble. Be sure to put gravel around it before covering it over.

    Check out my album on this forum for what I did

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    15
    Location
    Northwest Georgia
    Tractor
    Kioti CK30

    Default Re: Drainage Ditches

    Danny, your project album looks great. I hadn't been to the photos on this board so now I have another great source of information. I like what you did with the drainpipe and it is reassuring to know that I should be able to drive over it. Thanks so much for your reply.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    7,386
    Location
    North East CT
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota BX-22

    Default Re: Drainage Ditches

    How wide are the drainage ditches and how much water is directed into them? A picture would also be a help. What are the drainage ditches present made of? We would need to know a lot more of the details before we could make some educated guesses as to what would be appropriate. I have seen some drainage ditches that are bone dry and 15 minutes after the rain starts, they look like you could go fishing in them, the water is so deep and moving so fast.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    15
    Location
    Northwest Georgia
    Tractor
    Kioti CK30

    Default Re: Drainage Ditches

    Junkman, the ditches aren't too big, maybe 2' wide and deep at worst. Pretty much solid red Georgia clay and some rock at that depth. I think the driveway has been there about 3 years so the ditch is not growing at a rapid rate but it is unsightly, dangerous if you're not careful and will get my driveway someday. I wish I could tell you how much water they push, but I just moved in and haven't taken the time to go out in a downpour to find out. I'm going to do that the next chance I get. Considering the size of the existing ditches it would be pretty easy to throw in 4" piping and cover with gravel and fabric. If I see that the ditch is moving more water than I think a 4" pipe will handle, then I guess I will have to move up to the next size, whatever that is.
    And then there are the flat areas between the slopes where there is no real ditch to speak of. The water just goes every which way, and then a new ditch starts running at the next slope. To run a continuous pipe I will need to trench these flat areas between the slopes and I don't have any equipment that will do that. The more I think about the job the more I like the idea of having someone with a backhoe come out and do it right. Then I can put in the pipe and gravel myself.
    My other concern was driving over the pipe but then remembered that I am going to put a fence along the driveway next year so that's not going to be an issue. Wherever I put a gate, I will put a nice culvert to drive over, but the ditch definitely needs fixing before the fence goes in. Let me know if you have any other ideas on how I should tackle this job before the rainy season hits.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    7,386
    Location
    North East CT
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota BX-22

    Default Re: Drainage Ditches

    If the ditch is 2' x 2', I don't believe that a 4" pipe is going to do much. Saturday, we got a heavy downpour that amounted to 3" of rain in an hour. My 4" pipe couldn't handle the amount of water that was coming into it. I would think that a 20" pipe might be necessary to contain all the water that might come your way.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    445
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Tractor
    JD 855

    Default Re: Drainage Ditches

    Itís pretty hard to design a ditch or a pipe without knowing how much water it will carry. A ditch, even a small one, will carry a helluva lot more water than a pipe would, so piping may be less than effective.

    One solution may be to grade out your ditch sides to flatter slopes. I like to keep side slopes to 3:1 so they are mowable. Flattening out the side grades will move the flowline away from the edge of the driveway, protecting the driveway better from the water, and protecting cars from the ditch. Undercut the ditch grades by about four inches, put in 4 inches of topsoil, and seed. Thatís about the best erosion protection you can get. You can improve on this, particularly until the seed takes, by lining the ditch with jute or straw fabric. It comes in rolls, and some even has the grass seed in the fabric. It eventually rots away, leaving a well established turf. For really steep or high flow situations, they make a permanent turf reinforcement mat with plastic that kinda gives you reinforced grass.

    The longitudinal ditch grade should be 2% or ľ inch per foot drop minimum, or youíll develop mini-wetlands where the ditch doesnít drain. You can fix that, and dry up the ditch for minor rains, by putting a French Drain down the flowline. You can do the trenching with a ditchwitch, lay in perf pipe, and backfill with drainage gravel. The small flows will stay in the pipe, while greater flows will be carried by the ditch.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    15
    Location
    Northwest Georgia
    Tractor
    Kioti CK30

    Default Re: Drainage Ditches

    I think you all have done this work before. I thought about re-grading the sides of the ditch, but I am not sure on the best way to go about doing that using a tractor. Do I just tear into the ditch walls with a loader? It may be impossible to do in some sections because there is a hill on one side of the ditch and my driveway on the other so there isn't always a lot of room to work with. The pipe may be the only solution in those conditions. Right? Maybe I lay in pipe and gravel to fill the ditch, then slope the sides as gently as possible to allow grass to grow on top?

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    523
    Location
    Cape Cod, MA
    Tractor
    JD 4410 eHydro & 430FEL w/ 4N1 bucket & pallet forks

    Default Re: Drainage Ditches

    Great opportunity to cost-justify a backhoe! If the ditches have been there for a while and not gotten too bad, then chances are you'll have time to do the job yourself in segments (if you have the time and inclination). If you have the time, then taking time to research and engineer the right solution like you are now is a good start. If you can give the TBN'rs lots of data, they'll help you work out a good approach.

  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    5,666
    Location
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Drainage Ditches

    Sounds like your space around the ditch is limited but I have used a rear blade to flatten out the sides of a ditch. With the blade tilted and the soil conditions right it cut down the sides pretty fast. There was still some hand work involved cleaning out the soil that fell in the ditch but it beat the heck out of the shovel and pick method of the past.

    Where are you at in NW Georgia? I am about 30 south of Rome and 18 miles north of I20 off of SR 27.

    MarkV

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