Filling a ditch question

   / Filling a ditch question #11  
I've filled such gullies with rock a bit larger than the "drainage rock" in bags at Lowes. Then put in a 4x4 or 6x6 upstream at a slight angle to the slope to divert water away from the old gully.

I've also used burlap tacked to the ground with ground staples at the beginnings of areas that want to wash out. I have used drainage rock but with burlap on top of it.

Of course, you can put drainage rock and sprinkle some cement into the rock and wet it a bit to help hold it together. Let sit, of course, for a 1/2 day or so.

Best is drainage rock, some soil, seed and put down either burlap or germination pads. Germination pads aren't durable enough to drive your tractor over like burlap is but will do the trick if you have a couple weeks between rains to get the grass seed started.

I've also dug in some 4x4s along the slope or screwed together at least 3 one bys and laid into a trench. Tree roots running across the wash area serve the same purpose naturally.

There are a couple really deep gullies down the back hill that were probably made by past storms dating back probably 50 years that I'm filling with cut timber and old wood of various sorts. It'll later decay and settle in over the years.

   / Filling a ditch question #12  
Here the other side of the pond, a 3metre length of 300mm Twinwall underground plastic pipe costs about £50.00 per 3 m. length. So your 100 ft, about one foot pipe, 10 lengths would cost about £500.00. OK a lot of money, but it would be quick and the chances of it collapsing after a few years, which would be a pain, are slim.
   / Filling a ditch question
  • Thread Starter
I know this is a very old thread now, but I should post and update. Reading back over it I realize I didn't do a good job of describing the whole situation. This 100 ft. section of "ditch" is through the barn lot. It is a wet weather stream that comes in behind an old shed, makes a turn to diagonal across the barn lot, then turn again to run alongside the driveway and yard of the house. In the barn lot, it has always been a gentle swale so that we can drive vehicles and equipment through, though not when the stream is running at any significant flow.

Mentioning "significant flow" brings up some of the challenges that make some of the suggestions on this thread un-workable. The stream is dry most of the time, but during a flood event, the water can be 3 to 5 ft deep across the 20 ft. swale, and in 2019 we had a couple of floods that were much bigger than that. Considered with all the debris that comes down from the woods, a pipe would just clog up and overflow. A concrete lined ditch would be better, but driving across it and not cracking it would mean it needs to be pretty thick concrete (expensive!) and I would worry that the water would undermine it and end up going around it. I hate railroad ties - people around here use them all over and they don't last forever, they just make a mess to clean up later and are now considered "toxic waste" that can't be burned or sent to the landfill. The idea of using rip-rap is good, but I've seen that stuff wash out from where the county uses it so many times I can't believe it would really hold up.

So, what I did was to buy a large truckload of limestone form the local quarry - rocks up to 24 inch across, though most are quite a bit smaller. I filled the washed out part of the ditch with that rock and then covered them with gravel from the yard that had washed out of the ditch. That was a year ago - so far we have not had a major flood event, but several small ones. The gravel washed off down to the top of the limestone, but stopped there. I am concerned that it might wash out beside the rocks, but the longer this goes, the more roots get in there to stabilize it and the better it seems. In the meantime, I can get across to access the barn and property beyond and all is well.

I want to thank everyone for taking the time to respond to this - the ideas really helped.
   / Filling a ditch question #14  
Using large rock was a great way to solve this issue.
   / Filling a ditch question #15  
One thing about rip rap vs just broken chunks of concrete is the rip rap is rounded. This allows the water to flow around them more evenly. Broken square chunks of rock or concrete can concentrate the flow down into certain spots and undermine the dirt and the problem continues. The key no matter what you do is to keep the water from getting underneath things.