500ft natural stream w/holding pond(s)...

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by mcclureandson, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    I've just come from a meeting with one of my developers...he's looking to convert a natural gully/semi-dry stream bed along a proposed nature trail into some sort of water feature. Approx. length is 500ft - falls steadily in a pleasing line about 35ft. I have completed waterfall projects w/vanishing streams prior to this request...but the length (500ft+), terrain and material/labor costs of fine grading, laying down bedding/underlayment and epdm fabric (as I would for a small streambed) make this different. I can create large holding ponds as needed (although have not done a true 'pond' prior to this), have the ability to evaluate water flow, pump requirements etc...what I'm wondering is how continuous water flow would effect the terrain w/no liner? I would expect a great deal of erosion...but this area is heavily wooded and this gully has obviously been there for some time - not related in anyway to recent development. Heavily wooded as well along the sides...would like to 'line' with the abundance of natural stone found on-site...perhaps create waterfalls along the way w/fabric and blackfoam. Of course we'd lose alot of water not only to evaporation but as it leeched into the soil along the way. Would numerous smaller holding areas more traditionally built (w/epdm) be effective spaced between longer runs of areas left 'natural'? I'm curious if anyone has ever done something similar? Not looking for pricing info...construction/troubleshooting advice would be GREATLY appreciated.
     
  2. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    I know this is a small forum...but no one here has done/heard of a project similar to this? It's quite an undertaking...will push or exceed $100,000 for sure.
     
  3. huh

    huh LawnSite Senior Member
    from Lubbock
    Posts: 251

    I would consider talking to the soil conservation service office in your area

    BUT I would talk to the developer about that first...because the soil conservation = feds and that can = regulations

    BUT there is a good chance with proper planning and wording that the soil service will do some cost sharing on the design...BUT then you MUST built it to their designs

    you need to know the soil type and it's erosion susceptibility....the soil service will know this...then you also need to know what the drop per feet of run is....or the drops/per feet if the slop is not consistant....and lastly you need to know if the existing vegetation will continue to exist with a more permenant flow...again soil service can help....all they do all day long is work on erosion!

    as you go through out your day look for areas similar to the one you are working with....look to see if they have erosion issues from drainage being rerouted or water flow increased....look to see why they failed....then do something to prevent that in yours.....it is like looking at a 10+ foot high wall block wall.......after you see pics of failures all on this forum and others you figure out wall block is for looks....nothing else....same goes with looking at others drainage and water management practices.....you see so many that fail....but they all still do the same thing ?

    perhaps a few pics with some measurements and people could offer more

    and my last advice is if this is a development of any size then the cost for a day or two of a good soils/civil engineers advice might not be too out of line....but you could probably get most of it for free from the soils service...including an onsite visit
     
  4. huh

    huh LawnSite Senior Member
    from Lubbock
    Posts: 251

    http://www.sc.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/

    look over these links.....there are conservation programs and then some listed down by the bottom inclluding the plant materials area that may be of help to you

    I am not trying to imply that you or anyone else is not following the law so please do not take it as such, but if you call these folks then remember that they know the rules and they have to be picky about them....even the dumb ones :)

    hope any of this helps....post some before and after pics sounds like an interesting job :)

    and remember open areas can be for conservation :):)....even if "developed"...and if you do get some cost sharing, dont forget to hit the developer up for a bonus and have him market his conservation efforts :)
     
  5. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    Thank you...excellent insight and response. I'll look over those links. Soil erosion is my greatest concern...w/out properly lining the channel I'd logically expect this stream-bed to dramatically change course/deepen over possibly even a short period of time. I've just found out he would like to incorporate one (or two) sump pumps (25hp +/-) he had left/salvaged from another site. We'd need multiple exit points along the way to distribute water flow. Would expect silt problems w/holding pool(s)...possibly they'd fill at a very fast rate. Retro-fitting his pumps/engineering alone would run 10's of thousands (possibly). Corps of Engineers would want some input...many questions to have answered. My part consists mostly of feasibility and cost...I'll probably have my attorney prepare something especially for this project to cover my azz. My prediction is he'll accept a smaller, more traditionally built project when it's all said and done. Thanks.
     
  6. PROFESSORRAIN

    PROFESSORRAIN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    SOMETHING TO REMEMBER sump pumps are not designed for continuous running.Submersible pump would be the one to use,it likes to run long times I have a 5hp sub. pump with a bracket that berkley makes hooked to a berkley pump end that pushes about 330 gpm,(replaced aquamaster pump) high volume,no pressure,no outlets in the middle of the run.At the top of 35' foot w/ 6" you would get 300 gpm easy.Storm water is going to be tuff if rolling down hills gully got washed in somehow.Good luck keep us posted! I'm holdin thread.My job was $106k with 200' wife ( boss informed me after all that)typing)
     
  7. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    I'll try for some pics over the weekend or first of next...we got the go-ahead on a couple of cul-de-sac islands, lakeside plantings etc...so I've got to move on those right away. I would like to do this project...many, many things to accomplish prior to the go-ahead.
     
  8. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    You can still use a liner and make a very natural looking stream bed.

    Why do you want to open a can of worms by not using one?
     
  9. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    I want to use a liner...developer believes it's cost-prohibitive. My feeling on the vast, vast majority of projects is NOT to allow the end-user to determine construction methods. However, if it is feasible and he is willing to compensate me for my time I will attempt to design around that factor...well worth it if the final price tag climbs high enough. I will send him my thoughts thus far Monday morning...will include ballpark for a properly constructed water feature, links (some provided by responses to this thread) to soil engineers available locally, possible municipal assistance programs for wetlands/native habitat restoration and a list of my concerns regarding his attempt to save money by eliminating what is IMO a critical component of a waterfall w/stream. Still, I'm certain (not exactly sure why, though) it CAN be done and probably HAS been done before.
     
  10. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    Its absolutely ridiculous to even listen to him. The job is going to be well into the 6 figure range, the liner is not going to change that much.

    Does he want to pay 6 figures and have a water feature that may not work well in the future and will be wrapped up in ecology red tape?

    Or does he want to pay 6 figures for a water feature that will work well into the future?
     

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