Need help on dry branch water control

   / Need help on dry branch water control #1  


Platinum Member
Dec 31, 2008
Kioti DK40SE
I'm having problems with a "dry branch" creek that goes through my back yard. We got quite a bit of rain today and the small creek was gushing with water, it does this a few times a year during heavy rains. It washes ditches out of my yard, washes the gravel off the driveway and floods everything with all kinds of debrie..... Today I walked the ravine all the way to where it starts. I found that it basically starts out in a low spot in a feild then grows and grows from many smaller runoff ditches feeding into it as it gets closer to my place. The whole thing is basically in a large ravine until right before my back yard so this will make it almost impossibleto use heavy equiptment.......I've included some pics form where it wreaks havoc:eek: to where it starts

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Any ideas on how to control the water/slow it down? I'm wondering about putting a restriction in the waterflow upstream of my back yard. My concern with this is the water might just wash out around the said restriction.........What can I do to slow the water down? I have a dk40 with fel and a box blade to work the accessible areas and a long handled shovel for the rest :)......TIA


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   / Need help on dry branch water control #2  
We have a very steep driveway, along a hillside. water runoff is a major issue for us and it has taken us nearly 3 years of tinkering to get it remotely close.

To slow down you either divert or block. We put in large rocks, bolders to slow the water down. It helps. I would rather divert but that is going to be a challenge given finances and our hillside
   / Need help on dry branch water control #3  
If it is all on your property a couple of strategically placed ponds would probably help slow down the run off.

Myself I wouldn't build any dams just dig out some depressions.

Maybe use the dirt from the ponds to divert the water from your stuff, further down stream from the ponds.

Around here they call that a thunderstorm creek.-- VA

In S. AZ that would be a arroyo.

I guess in Indiana it's a dry branch :)

good luck
   / Need help on dry branch water control #4  
have you considered making a channel for the water to follow so it does not wash out your yard?:D
   / Need help on dry branch water control
  • Thread Starter
have you considered making a channel for the water to follow so it does not wash out your yard?:D

There is a channel in place it's just not able to contain all the rushing water.....I'm considering putting in a few rock dams to slow the water flow. My concern is how do I keep the water form washing out around the dam?.....The pond sugestion would be fine, but most of the creek is not accessible because it's in a ravine. Diverting the water would also take some major excavation, so some kind of dam may be my best option. My neighbor said: Just pile a bunch of tree tops and brush in there and cover it with dirt:p. I don't know how well that would work, but it would be cheap!:)
   / Need help on dry branch water control #6  
If you dig a pond or two then what happens when they are full? You will still have the runnoff.
Building a dam out of wood and dirt will not hold and will be short lived and could cause more flooding in your yard when the dam breaks.
All you can really do is divert the water.
   / Need help on dry branch water control #7  
This might be oversimplification but if you can't dig the existing channel deeper, you can build up the banks to create the same effect. I'd line with riprap to keep soil from being continually eroded. Keep a wide shallow "V" profile so as the creek gets higher there's ever more cross-sectional area.
   / Need help on dry branch water control #8  
Can't outdo mother nature, you might put riprap in the channels in the yard but trying to dam it won't work, the water will still come down and water is a very powerful force. Try to just go out and look at it and study it maybe deeping and wideing the channel will help. It's mostly just a small hazard of living in the country, (ain't it nice?) Like having a gravel road the maintenance is never done.
   / Need help on dry branch water control
  • Thread Starter
Thanks for the replies. I would like to create a restriction upstream more than actually damming the water off, I'm just needing ideas on how to do it if it's even a reasonable option. Could I partially fill the ravine with rip raf in a few places to slow the water down or would the water just washout "dig" around the filled spots rather than filter through it more slowly? I just don't have any experience with this sort of thing TIA
   / Need help on dry branch water control #10  
The rip rap will act to slow down the flow and allow the water to disperse more underground. The more rock you have in the low spots, the better it will disperse. It should act like a french drain --- the water will follow the path of least resistance through the rock and not wash out the soil on either side. I would dig out the channel and fill it with rock as much as possible to encourage that dispersion and stop erosion. Dams are going to end up as debris on your lawn sooner or later:(