Monday, February 25, 2008

High Hopes

These photos are a little out of sequence so just bear with me here. I don't have the patience to try to fix them. This is my attempt to fix the problem I am having with rain runoff clouding my spring. Basically, I am trying to build a dirt cricket. A cricket is a small roof that diverts water behind a chimney for those of you who may not be familiar. I discovered 2 holes in the ground on the uphill side of the spring and I believe the muddy water flowing down the hill was then entering the spring underground before it actually reached the mouth of the spring. At least, that is what I am hoping. I hope by backfilling the uphill side it will cause the water to run around the spring and not down these holes or into the mouth of the spring. I put that meter box over the shutoff valve so that it is still accessible, plus the pipe needed to be covered anyway to keep it from freezing.
Here I have backfilled a good bit of the area after putting down a layer of poly as extra protection. I need to lay up another course or two of the stone on the uphill side so that there is a curb of sorts for the water running downhill to be diverted around the spring.
This is the beginning of the project. I got some Sonotube from the job (leftovers) and it was the perfect size! It is 2 feet diameter. Sonotube is great stuff if you need to pour something round. It comes in many different sizes and you can get it at Lowe's or some other similar devil store. Now, in this instance, I poured on the outside of the form where you would normally use Sonotube to pour the inside. Don't laugh at my formwork; it was difficult to get that stuff down in that crevice! And I had to cut the Sonotube open to get it around the water line. Anyway, a few nail pins (also invaluable) and we are ready. I didn't get any photos of the footing but I'm sure you can imagine.
I thought the tube was going to be too big but turns out it was just right to go around the mouth of the spring.
Here I am in my Superwoman pose! I had to haul the concrete and mortar down in a wheelbarrow but the stones I did bring down in my truck. Still, it was a pretty good workout. I kept the Sonotube in place to help me keep a good circle going with the block. When you are through, you just peel the Sonotube off or out of the concrete.
Here you can see the footing and the stone work. Most of the block is some old stuff that I busted up out of the BFA's driveway. I thought it was kind of cool looking because it is so old it was poured back when they used slag from steel mills as the aggregate, so you get these bright, glassy bits in the block. They are pretty much all a uniform thickness too so they lay well. I pointed the outside of the wall on the uphill side to help seal it up and put the poly against the block before backfilling too. So, we'll see. As I said, I need to go a little higher with the wall and build a little berm uphill to help divert more water.
Thank you all for your kind words recently. I am not going to give up on my house. It is just like any construction project; you always run into problems that you did not forsee but you fix them. Everything is just one thing at a time and you keep going. I think I may have not explained my work situation clearly though. I may have to go out of state but we do get to come home about twice a month. Sometimes you can come home every weekend; depends on how far away you are. Anyway, I could make a lot of money if I go and afford to build the other side of the house (much faster) when I come home for good, so it has it's advantages. And if I go with mostly the crew that I have worked with on this last job it will be a hell of a good time. We have already decided that we are going to get up a bowling team and join a league down there and I told the guys we are all going to learn to dance to the Zydeco music too! It will be an adventure for sure.


Woody said...

Looks like you might have that problem licked...

Glad to hear you're over that nasty bout of anal ocularity. It truly is one foot in front of the other.

I would guess that the switchman has enough seniority to hold a road job on the south end of his territory...:)

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Well! one problem is on the way to being solved. "Two steps forward, one step back."

Louisiana sounds like it could be interesting but one hates to be away from home with so much to do.

edifice rex said...

Hey Woody! I sure hope so; I looked at the spring today, after a big rain last night, and it was not muddy so...I have got my fingers crossed. I get kinda discouraged but it doesn't last long. I think I just get very tired with the type job I have and then so much work at home. Yeah, I think the Switchman has enough seniority to do about whatever he wants.

Hello Philip! I think I have made a good step towards the solution! I would not have to go to Louisiana until May or so, so I hope I can get alot done on the house before then but still, there is so much I want to do. I haven't got chickens yet!

Robbyn said...

SO happy you're staying there! And the out of town work could definately have its up sides, too...thank you for your comments on my site, and I always think yours is wonderful, and I wish I had half your skills! LOVE reading about what's going on with you :)

jennifer said...

GOT to comment here. I have been scanning through your blog because, I too, am an Alabama blogger. I thought this was a gentleman's site ( even though you showed your leg with the bruises on the other post I thought it was just a guy with shapely legs and little body hair). I totally profiled you!!! With the construction talk, my mind thought GUY! I apologize for the unintentional sexism and I am impressed with you blog!

Have a lovely weekend.


edifice rex said...

Hey Jennifer! Well, I'm quite flattered! Thank you and I know most people would think this is a man's site. I checked yor blog out too and I think we are neighbors!