View Full Version : What do you do when your excavated area fills up with water?

05-22-2005, 05:24 PM
What do you guys do when you excavate for a hardscape and it rains before you get your base aggregate installed and the area fills with water? Normally, if there is rain in the forecast, I don't dig it open. However, sometimes rain isn't in the forecast and it rains anyway.

05-22-2005, 05:29 PM
I throw in the base right on top of the water,that will displace it for sure!

05-22-2005, 07:09 PM
Sheshovel, do you worry about not getting proper compaction on the subsoil because it is oversaturated?

05-22-2005, 07:57 PM
Id drain it by whatever way it took...if you cant trench it then pump it out and wait for it to dry out.

Rex Mann
05-22-2005, 08:26 PM
You can pump or trench it out. That being said, the soil is usually still over saturated. We would take 94 pound bags of portland cement and mix it 1-bag to every 1 to 2 tons of aggregate base material. the quantity would be determined by how saturated the soil was and what type of soil. the portland will absorb the excess moisture, and allow you to better achieve your needed compaction.



ArizonaPavers.Com (http://arizonapavers.com)

05-22-2005, 08:41 PM
Rex, it's heavy clay soil and there is rain in the forecast everyday this week. I'm debating putting it off or trying to move forward.

Rex Mann
05-22-2005, 09:30 PM
I would try to get the aggregate in and compacted. By compacting it, you are closing the surface, thus causing more of the water to runoff rather than absorb into the base.

Heavy clay soils, some jobs you feel like you take one step forward and two back. I have empathy for you. That's why I moved out West.



ArizonaPavers.Com (http://arizonapavers.com)

05-23-2005, 12:28 AM
I ran in to this problem last year....I mixed some portland cement in with the base....just as rex stated. I also went to lesco and picked up some kind of absorber that they use on baseball infields to dry up the sub-base. This seemed to work pretty well. Use these 2 methods, and make sure the ground doesn't "pump" when you walk on it, and I think you'll be ok. I also went the extra step and put down geotextile inbetween the sub base, and the base....of course I do this will all my paver installations. Its a year later and the patio is holding up fine....good luck.

hole in one lco
05-23-2005, 01:13 AM
:) get some fish and call it a pond :)

05-23-2005, 02:29 AM
Sheshovel, do you worry about not getting proper compaction on the subsoil because it is oversaturated?

No I really dont,the soil I work with is deep clay it's already compacted as compacted gets,water absorbs very slowly if at all.,I bail it out and throw in the base and compact it,the base compacts nicely onto the wet clay and seems to bond it together,then when dry it turns to almost a cement base.You have to make sure you grade your site to drain off as normal.But no,no worry in my neck of the woods anyway.

05-23-2005, 10:58 PM
I excavate the wet areas a few inches until I get to dry clay and it doesnt have the spongy feeling. Portland cement sounds hell of a lot easier though.

05-29-2005, 12:44 PM
We carry several big plastic tarps. It works.

We're considering a pop up shelter so we can work in the rain on small projects like Pisa steps down from a slider, etc.


05-30-2005, 09:35 PM
pump it out

DO NOT FILL IT WITH BASE.... the dispalced water will carry with it a lot of fines, thus reducing the % fines. also the base will be so water logged that you will still have to wait for it to dry before you can work it......

how can you do your lifts if they are under water???? since you cannot do the entire lift at once, you cannot displace all the water at once