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Got moss?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Meadowbrook, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. Meadowbrook

    Meadowbrook LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    Ok, I'm not sure if this should be under landscaping or lawn care, but it's a problem, no doubt.
    A customer has a field below his house that is roughly 5,000 sq/ft of drain field for artesian wells on and around his place. The pipes running from the wells go the whole way down into the field where they end and the water drains out. The problem is, when the air gets cooler and the ground stays damp, moss grows over, on and in the ends of the pipes and clogs them. When the air gets warmer and the sun comes out more frequently (late spring, all of summer) the moss dies out and the pipes are free flowing again. The only solution that we came up with was to dig out the ends of the pipes with a backhoe, which is more costly than what its worth. So thats why I'm posting here, I'm hoping that someone has run into this problem (or something like it) and knows a better solution. Are there any chemicals that we can use to kill off the moss, but keep the field living? Any and all suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks guys.

  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    What kind of pipe is it?

    I would think that copper pipe would be less likely to support growth, but I'm not sure...

    Is there anyway to redirect the outlets? Take them to a ditch somewhere?

    What about digging up the last 2 feet or so of the pipe and adapting it to a larger size of pipe? I'm assuming the pipe is currently a 2" or smaller pipe, could you adapt it to a 4" pipe? A 4" pipe should be big enough that moss wouldn't be able to completely clog it.....

  3. Garth

    Garth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    When you say moss are you talking about a terrestrial like Sagina subulata or one of the many algaes that most people refer to as " moss" that build up in water prone areas. There are problems with sphagnum mosses( Sphagnopsida) not to be confused with sphagnum peat moss. Sphagnum moss is a living organism and peat is the dead material that accumulates underneath. A fungal disease called cutaneous sporotrichosis can be contracted from sphagnum moss. It exhibits itself as chronic skin lesions. The fungus Sporothrix schenckii is responsible. Be careful about using any herbicides as they may find their way into the ground water. I've seen propane powered flame-throwers that are used in weed eradication that may be more suitable. I apologize for the botany lesson but I'm a botanist and that's just the way we talk.-Garth MacG
    Brysopsida, the family of arthrodontous mosses can be a problem as well. I hope your friend's wells have a chlorination tank to kill all the bacteria and nematodes.
  4. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    D Felix suggestion is probable as good a long term suggestion as you will find. For springs where we used to get our drinking water from we always covered the end of the overflow pipe with what ever we could find,(big rocks, logs, an old board, ect) The water would flow under the cover and the moss would grow on top of the cover but couldnt clog the pipe. If you want to kill the moss, You could use iron to do that without killing the grass growing around the pipe. The iron will turn the grass very green tho. If you have running water the iron will be leached down stream so I dont know if this is a suggestion you want to consider. I certainly wouldnt want to use any herbicies because of the leaching.
  5. Meadowbrook

    Meadowbrook LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    Thanks for the help guys. I hadn't gotten a chance to walk down and take a look to see how big the pipes are. As far as adapting them to a bigger pipewhat would stop the moss from growing over the larger sized hole? As far as the iron idea, doesn't seem like it would be all that bad, since we have really crappy ground around here anyway. A lil' iron wouldn't hurt I wouldn't think. I dunno, I will run this by the guy sometime. I'm not sure how soon it'll be because the job that I bid on, apparently, he did himself, oh well, not my prob when he has a heart attack and dies. lol, sorry, just blowing off some steam, I could've used an extra $2,000 before winter started. You'll have this, I suppose

  6. activelandscaping

    activelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    I would also go with D Felix's advice. Replacing the pipe may not be necessary. Simply providing a copper flume or course screen should keep the area clear of moss & Roots. I believe it has to do with the electrical charge of copper, with regards to inhibiting plant & root growth. It also used to be a primary component of " bottom paint " for boats, prevents algea.......etc.


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